Bolton picked up their first home point and kept a first clean sheet of the season, but they were the only positives as they played out a goalless draw against Grimsby.
Not only were they unable to score against a side that hasn’t played since September 19th, or even properly trained due to a COVID outbreak, neither Wanderers nor the opposition were able to muster a shot on target. Grimsby started off the better side, although as the first half went on Bolton stepped up a bit, started to have a lot more of the ball, yet the best opportunities came from Ali Crawford free kicks rather than from open play.
While it probably wasn’t even worth getting too excited over the first half performance, there was a foundation of sorts to kick on, but we just didn’t do that in the second half, If anything, we got a bit sloppier and Grimsby were given a few chances, although their quality going forward was little better – the Mariners are still waiting for their first league goal.
The back three at least did was needed of them, Ricardo Santos is looking far more assured and relaxed than the Santos of two and three weeks ago – that seems to be the back three now, with Harry Brockbank and Ryan Delaney. Jak Hickman’s withdrawal in the second half was a blow, I don’t know if that was due to an injury of some sort but we lost all those good balls coming in from the right flank. Eoin Doyle was given little service again.
Yes, we had a decent amount of possession and out passed them comfortably, but if you can’t get the round thing on target you won’t win a lot of games. Approach play only gets you so far.