allan johnston

Game of the Day: SAFC 3 Bolton 1

Published:
by Kate Morton

A classic clash from 1999 takes today's spotlight.

Division One leaders Sunderland turned in an impressive display when fifth placed Bolton arrived at the Stadium of Light back in March 1999. 

Peter Reid's men subjected the Trotters to an early blitz in front of a capacity crowd, with Lee Clark running the show from middle of the park and Michael Gray linking well with Allan Johnston down the left.

Despite some solid defensive work from Wanderers' Mark Fish and Paul Warhurst it was more a case of when Sunderland were going to score, not if. 

A brilliant seventh minute save from Jussi Jaaskelainen denied Clark a stunning opener, and captain Kevin Ball had an effort ruled out for offside two minutes later.

But the first goal duly arrived just after the 20 minute mark, when Niall Quinn flicked on a long ball into the path of strike partner Kevin Phillips, who gave Jaaskelainen no chance from close-range.

Reid's side pushed home their advantage further within five minutes, thanks to a fine individual goal from Scottish international Johnston.

The winger picked up the ball on the left and drifted down the flank before shooting home from just inside the area.

Bolton replied within four minutes of the restart when Per Frandsen pounced on an error by Andy Melville to shoot home from the edge of the box.

Johnston was in the right place at the right time again as he sealed the win for the Black Cats with his second goal of the afternoon. 

His curling shot from 25 yards made it 3-1 ending the contest and allowing the Wearsiders to coast home.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Ball, Craddock, Melville, Summerbee, Clark (Williams 57), Quinn (Dichio 72), Phillips (Bridges 82), Johnston

Goals: Phillips 23, Johnston 28, 55