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Promotion v Bolton or Promotion v Forest?

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Written by bigfatolly

So, you are at the pearly gates.

You are about to step in and God says that before you are allowed in, you can relive either AFC Bournemouth verses Bolton Wanderers in 2015 or AFC Bournemouth against Nottingham Forest in 2022.

Which one do you choose?

It’s a difficult one because both matches are different things for different people.

Against Bolton there was a certain inevitability that we were going up, Bolton were a poor side and it would only be a matter of time before we got what we needed.

Forest was so different in many ways, there was no certainty in it, and many different scenarios depending on the result.

I don’t think I have ever been that tense at a football match, and for me, the atmosphere in the ground was amongst the best ever at a home game.

I think I know which game most would pick though…

2015 v 2022 How did they compare?

2015 was best

2015 was best

2022 was best

2022 was best

Both amazing

Both amazing

Your say…

DJ said…

The Bolton game was the culmination of an entire journey. From -17 to the Premier League.

Like all good movie’s it had its bit in the middle where it lost its way a bit, but that all just added to the drama of the comeback…

So that’s why Bolton and being the first time stands out.

But as one single event. Forgetting all the rest. The Forest game was extraordinary for promotion to come down to a single shoot-out between two sides. With the other side in unbelievable form.

Neil Dawson wrote…

Tough one!

Bolton, just, because it was unbelievable. All those years and none of us thought it remotely possible until half way through that season when we dared to dream.

Forest as a footballing one-off was incredible though. A straight shoot out. I didn’t think we’d lose to Bolton the week before, I had real fear with Forest because they did look bloody good in the lead-up.

So Forest is the better match, Bolton the better occasion and the end of a miracle with a team of journeymen so shades it.

AFCBmattjamr added…

Both amazing for different reasons and feel so lucky to have seen both.

Bolton was far less tense and we cruised to a comfortable victory playing absolutely sensational football. Also, it being the first time reaching the promised land in our history and knowing we were about to take a step into the unknown made it all the more exciting.

If your could custom build your own football match it would be the Forrest game. Two top teams in the league, under the lights, big prize on the line, late winner. When the ball hit the back of the net it was one of the best feelings I think I’ve had as a fan (the sound of Pugh’s strike cracking the inside of the post Vs Bolton is close and still gives me tingles). The tension released in that moment was epic.

I think Bolton slightly edges it for me on the fact at the time it was a historical step into the unknown for the club, whereas we know what to expect from the Premier League now.

Monmouthred said…

Agree with most. 14/15 was just a brilliant season, with 8 teams battling it out for the vast majority of it. We smashed teams away time and again.
The Bolton victory sealed an impossible dream into reality, and we had no idea what the heck to expect in the PL.

That in turn, unbelievably led to 5 seasons in the PL, which eventually led to an inevitable relegation.

The big question was always how would we cope, would we ever get close to getting back? The high likelihood was, that we would have to do it quickly or perhaps never achieve it again.

Oh, and then lockdown.

So this season starts like a train, with upwards of 5 u21s in the team.

Fans in the stadium again. My first game back, a first-ever away win at Forest, who would have known how crucial that was at the time?

15 unbeaten, and then some inconsistency here and there.

Ultimately coming down to a Forest shoot out, although the cards were stacked in our favour.

High tension, and I am just as delighted to have won promotion again.

This time I do know, what to expect, and am excited about the progression of this team. I think the vast majority of us, just haven’t given them quite enough credit. Perhaps because we have been there before? Parachute payments, sure, but many don’t make it back.

14/15 could never be repeated. 21/22 came bloody close.

However this is the here and now, so right now Forest was better because it has opened the door again to the glorious unknown (and guaranteed the obvious financial injection to keep it all going for a few more seasons yet).

glennafcb added…

Forest for me, for 3 reasons.

1. Both my lads were with me – memories that will stay with us forever

2. The constant teasing both myself and my lads were getting at school (we live in Nottingham) by the entitled florist fans living in the past (funny how they’ve gone so quiet now).

3. Because there was so much riding on that single game.

Audenshaw Cherry said…

As many will know, I am not an optimist when it comes to AFCB. 65 years supporting has, on the whole, taught me to expect the worst.

I never, in my wildest dreams, thought we would ever reach the top league, let’s call it Division 1 (that seems to have a nice ring to it). There were times during the first promotion that I thought we would not go up, let alone be champions, but the Kenwyne Jones moment seemed to change that. I was nervous when we played Bolton but really thought we might do it especially after ‘Pughie’s’ goal.

This season has been, in my opinion, a lot tenser. We had a great start, with a very young team. Then the fallow spell happened and although many teams made a surge, strangely they just dropped away (Blackburn, QPR, WBA and Middlesborough all spring to mind) but then, in the background, there were always two improving sides (Sheffield and then latterly Forest)

Although the tension was growing we maintained our position. In the last few weeks, though, I (the pessimist) could only see one winner for automatic promotion, Forest. They were coming at us like a train and although picking up some good results (Blackpool, Huddersfield, Coventry) our play was not always convincing (The first 85 minutes at Blackpool, West Brom and the first 60 minutes at Swansea spring to mind)

Therefore, when we got to the Forest game, I hid, I could not watch it. I was on a hill far, far away from the television when my son rang me to say that we had won. Well, actually, he screamed down the phone.

So to get to my point I feel that this season has been far tenser than the first time because we never really knew which team would turn up. Would it be the WBA away team or the Huddersfield away, one abject, the other brilliant.

I’m just a happy bunny, or am I? At the beginning of the year (and the season before) I have been heard to say that I never want to go back to the Premier League.

I know we will be playing in the top division and against the top teams, many of whom will beat us (not you Chelsea) but I detest VAR (remember Burnley?).

Que sera sera.

One thing I will say, to end, is that I am sorry that many AFCB supporters have not made it through the past two seasons to see us back in the top division. I wish they were here to see it. They, and particularly Nonny, will be sadly missed. – Join the conversation, click here.

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