Crawley Town v Bolton Wanderers preview: Reds look to scupper Trotters' promotion plans

The 2020-21 season ends for Crawley Town at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

George Francomb scored Crawley Town's winner in the 1-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers in January. Picture by Steve Robards
George Francomb scored Crawley Town's winner in the 1-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers in January. Picture by Steve Robards

Although the game won’t impact what league Crawley are in next season, it will have a huge impact on Bolton’s fate as they could gain promotion to League One with a win.

But if they fail to beat Crawley and Morecambe better their result, they will have to face the play-offs.

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It’s a big day for Bolton who, after a very poor start, have really got themselves going in the second half of the season.

With a big squad overhaul in the summer and a new manager coming in, it was going to take time for Bolton to get things right but now they look worthy candidates for promotion.

To bounce straight back to League One is always a good achievement but certainly one Bolton would’ve expected at the start of the season, considering the calibre of players bought in.

Anything short of promotion would be a failure for Bolton so this is one of the biggest games in the last few years for them as they look to avoid going through the play-offs.

They had the chance to secure promotion last weekend but were beaten by play-off chasers Exeter 2-1.

Despite this, Bolton haven’t lost back-to-back league games since December and although they haven’t lost many they always seem to bounce back.

The Trotters have plenty of experience of promotion from this league in the dressing room, with Eoin Doyle, Loyd Isgrove and Antoni Sarcevic all winning promotion from this league last season. This experience will be vital on such a big day and they’ll be looked at as leaders to push them over the line on the final day.

However, their opponents Crawley will certainly be no push over as they have an incredible record against the sides near the top of the table on their own patch.

No team in the top nine places have won at The People’s Pension Stadium this season with Crawley winning six of those eight encounters.

Carlisle are the only team in the top half of the table to win at Crawley in a defeat back in November.

It has been a very good season overall for the Reds, with a record number of points and clean sheets since returning to League Two.

It’s one final push now for Crawley to keep themselves in the top half, with them being able to finish anywhere between 11th and 14th in the table.

They’ll be hoping to spoil Bolton’s promotion party, and replicate the 1-0 win at Bolton in January, in front of the Sky Sports cameras.