Bolton Match Zone

A Game Which Reflected Our Season: Bolton Finish With Entertaining Win Over Fleetwood


Bolton finished the 2021/22 season in entertaining fashion on Saturday with a 4-2 win over Fleetwood.

It was a result which summed up the season in a way, It was ultimately a decent result, we got better as it went on, we scored quite a few goals, there were some brilliant moments, and there were also some setbacks. But it was a good game and anyone leaving the ground on Saturday afternoon must have had a degree of optimism in what could lie ahead next term.

Ian Evatt had insisted Fleetwood would have to work for a result, without us having anything tangible to play for. Fleetwood weren’t safe, although Gillingham’s defeat meant they were actually going to be okay regardless. Even so, they took the lead in sublime style, with young midfielder Barry Baggley showing a great touch then emphatic finish to put them ahead, showing no signs of final day nerves.

Whether we meant to or not, we seemed to be in holiday mode as we just couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm for a good chunk of the first half. Eventually though, we woke up, and Dion Charles picked a good time to end his long scoring drought. After the break, we would go ahead through Declan John. Joe Garner equalised again for the opposition, as it became more obvious that they were going to stay up.

Then the game turned our way once again the most bizarre of circumstances. Charles’ work rate has always been off the scale, but he couldn’t have imagined going in for a slide tackle from 40 yards, connecting with the ball and it flying all the way past Alex Cairns and into the back of the net to give us a 3-2 lead. There was a degree of luck in the fourth as well, with a block landing nicely into the path of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, but there was nothing lucky about the superb finish to get the fourth goal. Coupled with Portsmouth’s heavy defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, that goal moved us up to ninth on goals scored, which as a final league position is a brilliant finish for the first season back in League One.

Now it’s all about next season. Since mid-January we can claim to be the best team in the division. Most of this season’s squad should remain with us after the summer. It’s a younger squad than we’ve had in recent years. But the top seven all picked up 80 points or more this season. Four of them will remain in the division next season, as well as three teams going down. Derby will be a force if they can get the takeover sorted as soon as possible, with a decent manager in Wayne Rooney and a good crop of youngsters, it’s just a case of whether he can sign players to augment that. Meanwhile, Peterborough and Grant McCann know League One well, while Barnsley are a lot more uncertain but need to be respected. It’ll be a competitive top half next season but we’ll be expecting to be up there now.

Share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *