What are your memories of Ipswich Town’s 5-3 win over Bolton on this day 17 years ago?

Jim Magilton's hat-trick in the play-offs against Bolton in 2000 will live long in the memory of the

Jim Magilton's hat-trick in the play-offs against Bolton in 2000 will live long in the memory of the Portman Road faithful. - Credit: Archant

It is often called the greatest game ever seen at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town 5, Bolton 3. A hat-trick for Jim Magilton, extra-time, two red cards for Wanderers, three penalties and a Wembley trip for the Blues.

Sounds like a film, but all that happened at Portman Road 17 years ago today as Town won their play-off semi-final second leg to beat Bolton 7-5 on aggregate and set up a Wembley final with Barnsley. And we all know how that went.

The game was crazy. Dean Holdsworth gave the visitors the lead early on, before he decked Magilton in the box, earning Town their first spot kick.

Magilton duly netted it, only to see Holdsworth give Bolton the lead again 21 minutes later.


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Town were then awarded a second, perhaps controversial penalty, as Marcus Stewart took a tumble. This time, Magilton’s effort was saved, and Town entered half-time down 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.

Magic didn’t waste time feeling sorry for himself though, bring Town level shortly after the break. But Wanderers struck back almost immediately, Allan Johnston making it 3-2.

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And so it stayed until the final minute, with Town fans almost resigned to yet more play-off heartbreak.

But cometh the hour, cometh the man - Magilton hammering home a cracker to level the scores, send the game to extra-time and the Portman Road faithful into raptures.

There was still time for Bolton’s Mike Whitlow to see red for a foul on Stewart before the final whistle blew.

Town were awarded a third penalty in the first half of extra-time, David Johnson being wrestled to the ground.

Jamie Clapham stepped up to bang it in, and Town were on their way.

Bolton lost Robbie Elliott to another red card after a foul on Martijn Reuser, and then the suave Dutchman put the game to bed, keeping his cool on a breakaway to send Portman Road wild.

What are your memories of the night? Have you ever seen a better game? Let us know!

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