Football: TOWN CRIERS; Ipswich agony as they fail in play-offs again.
BOB TAYLOR scored an extra time goal which sent Bolton into the play-off final and left Ipswich broken-hearted for the third successive season.
The 31-year-old striker struck after 96 minutes to set up a Wembley date with either Birmingham or Watford, who play tonight.
Disappointed Ipswich boss George Burley, who has seen his side fail in the play-offs for the last three seasons said: "We came so close two weeks ago, finishing third behind Bradford.
"We played some great stuff tonight. We showed determination, character and quality.
"I think we were the better side over the two legs but we just did not have rub of the green when we needed it.
"But I still think that we showed Premiership quality going forward because I lost count of the chances that we created."
Bolton boss Colin Todd will gratefully accept his place at Wembley, although he admitted Ipswich were unlucky not to have gained promotion. He said: "Ipswich deserve to go up, but I don't make the rules, and now we are just 90 minutes away from the Premiership."
Although Matt Holland scored his second goal of the night four minutes from the end of extra time to give Ipswich victory on the night, it was not enough to stop Bolton from going through to the final thanks to their three away goals.
The Ipswich players, who before the kick-off were dancing in their pre-match warm-up, sank to their knees at the final whistle having played their part in one of the most enthralling games of football to be seen this season.
Ipswich went into extra time needing to score as Bolton at that point had two away goals under their belt. But in their determination to push forward and score they left gaps at the back and it was Taylor who capitalised when Eidur Gudjohnson squared the ball and he slid it home.
The dramatic finale followed an equally incredible finish to normal time when Ipswich's England Under-21 star Kieron Dyer scored with a gem of a header with just 24 seconds left to force extra time.
Holland had given Ipswich a 14th-minute lead.
The game turned with two goals in a minute after the restart. Taylor equalised, but straight from the kick-off Dyer put Ipswich ahead again, and level on aggregate.
It looked all over for Ipswich after 84 minutes when Per Frandsen scored, but with just seconds remaining Dyer flicked home an inch-perfect header.
Bolton finally killed off Ipswich when Taylor struck six minutes into extra time and although Holland had the last word, it simply wasn't enough.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||May 20, 1999|
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