May 13 2012
Bolton's 11-year stay in the Premier League came to an end at the Britannia Stadium after they could only manage a 2-2 draw with Stoke.
Potters striker Jon Walters equalised from the penalty spot 13 minutes from time, and Bolton's agony was only deepened by the knowledge Manchester City's dramatic late victory over QPR meant a win here would have been enough.
It looked like things were going Bolton's way at the end of the first half when Mark Davies and Kevin Davies both scored fortuitous goals after Walters had given Stoke the lead in controversial circumstances, but it was not to be.
Bolton looked nervy at the back, and in the sixth minute Ricardo Fuller twisted and turned on the edge of the penalty area before firing in a shot that Adam Bogdan pushed round his near post.
Matthew Etherington had a shot saved by Bogdan, and the Hungarian keeper was at the centre of the drama when Stoke opened the scoring in highly controversial fashion in the 13th minute. Etherington crossed for Walters, who appeared to have taken too heavy a touch in front of goal, but the striker then headed the ball into the net seemingly out of Bogdan's hands.
Bolton's frustration showed when Sam Ricketts lunged into a tackle on Dean Whitehead, the full-back perhaps slightly fortunate only to be given a yellow card but that was nothing compared to the lucky break Bolton enjoyed in the 40th minute to provide them with a priceless equaliser.
A long ball from Bogdan was not well dealt with and Klasnic played in Mark Davies. The ball looked to have got away from the midfielder but Robert Huth smashed his attempted clearance against Davies' legs and it flew into the net.
Remarkably five minutes later they were ahead, again in unusual circumstances. Kevin Davies mis-hit his cross from the right but Sorensen was badly caught out and could only help the ball into the net at his near post.
Stoke were certainly not giving up and Etherington was the next player to come close to an equaliser but he was stretching as he shot and could not keep his effort down.
Bolton's hopes suffered another huge blow in the 77th minute when their side conceded a penalty, Bogdan felling Peter Crouch having initially done brilliantly to save the England man's shot, and Walters made no mistake from the spot.