Davies dreams of rolling back the Wembley years

Birmingham City 2 Bolton 3

Your starter for 10: which Premier League chairman has been to the "new" Wembley dozens of times and never seen his club win? Phil Gartside, of Bolton, was the answer to his own quiz question after a Kevin Davies-inspired win in a thriller at Birmingham earned a semi-final date at the stadium.

Gartside was at the Bolton helm when Aston Villa beat them on penalties at the "old" Wembley at the last-four stage in 2000. But the 69-year-old's "great memories" of the venue are nothing to do with that visit, or even when they last won the FA Cup, the 1958 defeat of Manchester United led by Davies' predecessor as captain and centre-forward, Nat Lofthouse.

"I'm an executive director of Wembley and I've gone down to the board meetings once a month for six years," said Gartside. "Every time I've travelled, I've dreamt of going with Bolton. I think it makes sense to have the semis there because it gives more people a chance to enjoy the place, more players the opportunity to play there."

Few deserve it more than the 33-year-old Davies. In 1997 he was playing for Chesterfield, from the third tier, when referee David Elleray failed to spot a shot had crossed Middlesbrough's line in an Old Trafford semi-final. "To be 2-0 up, and it should have been 3-1, and then to score in the last minute to force a replay ... It still hurts because we deserved to reach the final but it didn't happen. How long do you dwell on it?"

In Davies' case, you just start all over again each January. "As an Englishman, you pretend you're lifting that trophy, and it's no different now, even at my age. Every year those memories come back and I have Chesterfield fans getting in touch on Twitter, saying 'Good luck'." He might have made it in 2003, but after playing in the first four rounds for Southampton, he was dropped by Gordon Strachan. "I scored a late goal to keep them in the Cup against Millwall and they went on from there. I played my part in that run yet missed out on the final. As a manager, you have to make those decisions."

If Davies is looking for a talisman, Owen Coyle may just be the man. By contrast with Gartside the Bolton manager has never seen his team lose at Wembley, having scored when the club won an epic play-off against Reading and prevailed as Burnley manager. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Coyle resisted the idea that the Cup requires a make-over. "Does it need rethinking? Not for me," he said. "As a player I loved the FA Cup and you've seen what Crawley Town and Leyton Orient have done this year. I'm not just saying it because we're in the semi-final. I've said consistently that this is the best national cup competition in world football."

The end-to-end fare served up by his own players and an injury-ravaged but ever-positive Birmingham was proof, argued Coyle, of the Cup's enduring excellence. "When you get that kind of game, and the atmosphere the fans created, that's why English football is the best. On a difficult pitch we've seen heart, commitment and some great goals. Kevin Phillips' was exquisite."

Phillips struck, untypically, from long range, hauling Alex McLeish's side level a second time after Johan Elmander and Davies, from a penalty he earned himself, scored either side of Cameron Jerome's first equaliser. But Davies, rising Lofthouse-like to power the ball into the six-yard area for the live-wire substitute Lee Chung-yong to head home, made sure Bolton had the final, or at least semi-final, word.

Scorers: Birmingham Jerome 38, Phillips 80. Bolton Elmander 21, K Davies (pen) 66, Lee 90.

Subs: Birmingham Ridgewell 6 (Jiranek, 28), Redmond 6 (Ferguson, 29), Derbyshire (Murphy, 83). Bolton Lee 7 (Klasnic, 61), M Davies 6 (Muamba, 61), Taylor (M Petrov, 90).

Booked: Bolton Steinsson, K Davies.

Man of the match K Davies. Match rating 8/10.

Possession Birmingham 55% Bolton 45%.

Attempts on target Birmingham 6 Bolton 6.

Referee P Dowd (Staffordshire). Att 23,699.



News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
people

Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes