It’s difficult to write a match report, or some sort of analysis on a day like this. Normally, you would try and (badly) explain what happened, what you liked, and more likely what you didn’t like from the performance Bolton put out.
But today was different.
It was a match that we could have easily not have been playing. While we did take the field at Adams Park, there was no game for Bury, and there won’t be one next week either. Even the night before, the team bus departed Bolton several hours it was meant to.
But a team was fielding, and it was backed to the hilt by around 1600 Bolton supporters. And it was proper backing, every Yoann Zouma tackle was applauded, on what was an immense first game for the youngster. When the odd fan may have made a comment telling Phil Parkinson to sort it out, it was often quickly shot down. Yes, it’s fine if you’re not keen on Phil Parkinson, but today wasn’t the day.
Each player who turned out for us – in the end five of the starting eleven played for us last season, with a loanee, one new signing, and four academy products – put in an admirable amount of effort. It was no substitute for quality though, with Wycombe winning the game through second half goals from Paul Smyth and Fred Onyedinma.
For an hour we kept them out, keeping the ball quite well at times but it was the hosts who had the chances, and when Remi Matthews made an error, too keen to come out, that led to the opening goal, then it was uphill from there. Ultimately, we wouldn’t have a shot on target, and on another day Wycombe may have had more than they did in the second half.
But there was a game, the fans turned up, and the players put in maximum effort. That was good enough for most. Hopefully, brighter times may lie ahead.