Bolton started 2021 as they started 2020, 2019, and most years in recent times, with a defeat.
Wanderers lost at home to Crawley Town by a single goal, with George Francomb’s strike in the second half separating the two sides. We made a few changes, with Reiss Greenidge and Harry Brockbank coming into the outside centre back roles, oddly Gethin Jones stayed on the left while Lloyd Isgrove replaced the suspended Peter Kioso on the right – Jones would have loads of space on that flank but it was a case of diminishing returns, he wasn’t able to provide the breakthrough in the first half, then if anything he got quieter.
It was a relatively balanced game in terms but Crawley appeared to have the better of the midfield battle, and in the second half a decent move would lead to George Francomb, a midfielder who went close in the first half, being all the way forward to finish off the slick passage of play, which would ultimately lead us to suffering three consecutive home defeats in the fourth tier for the first time ever.
After that, we did pick up the pace and battered them, but it’s not particularly helpful if you only start doing that once you go behind. We finished with 24 shots but I’m guessing most of them came after a goal, and Crawley were humble enough to keep players back and give us little space at the edge of the area, Despite that, Eoin Doyle hit the woodwork, while their keeper denied Doyle, Brockbank, Delfouneso and Jones, Thomason also fired over from close range. The momentum may have been why Ian Evatt didn’t make a sub, although there were no attacking options, no strikers, the best just two attacking midfielders in Ronan Darcy and Ali Crawford.
There would then be a successive sending off, when Reiss Greenidge had to walk late on for a second yellow. Was it deserved? Some would say no but it was sloppy and he didn’t help himself.
We’re now closer to the drop zone than the playoff spaces…