Bolton Match Zone

Banners, Balls, Marches…And Another Loss

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Bolton lost again last night, as West Bromwich Albion ran out 2-0 winners in front of the Sky cameras, but the football felt almost secondary as the match was preceded by protests and there were also incidents inside the ground.

The match itself was typical of many a Wanderers natch this season. They may have tried, they even had a similar number of chances as the promotion-chasing Baggies, with Sam Johnstone pulling off a few decent saves, but the difference in quality was notable, neither was it helped by the softness of the two goals conceded, one from poor set-piece defending, another a mix-up between Jack Hobbs and Ben Alnwick.

Onto the protests then. There was a good turnout, whatever the number was. BBC Sport had it near the 4,000 mark, others had it in the hundreds. Whatever the exact number of the contingent that gathered around Nat’s statue before embarking on a lap of the ground, stopping only to witness a John McGinlay interview, it was significant and noisy.

What will it achieve? Nothing, say the naysayers. But is anyone truly happy with how things are going? If it pressures someone, somewhere into getting this club operating with a bit of dignity again, then it will have helped.

There were a few banners in the ground, with the attempted removal of one causing some problems in the south-east corner of the ground, and the injury of a steward. I can’t and won’t condone that, what I will say that is whoever’s call it was to try and remove banners in an emotional situation like that needs to look the mirror and think ‘is it worth the trouble?’

From a distance, the efforts to move that banner from lower tier to upper tier were more entertaining than the game.

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