Bolton’s long unbeaten run, unfortunately, is over.
We lost the crucial game at Newport, Nicky Maynard, a man who has scored a few against us down the years, scored the winner for Newport as we feel to a 1-0 defeat, a game where most of us were thinking how on earth did we lost that?
The reason, was finishing. We had more chances than Newport, but apart from a couple in the second half, none of them were on target. There has been talk in the last few days of how reliant we are for goals on Eoin Doyle, and if he isn’t scoring them, then who is?
There were some big moments spurned in that first half, Kieran Lee played in the number ten role and may have had a hat-trick if his radar worked, one of them was put wide from just yards out, then there was another chance we seemed to have three men around the six yard area but not one of them could get on the end of it. Then there was the late effort that apparently wasn’t over the line, maybe the referee wasn’t in a position to give it.
And while Newport had fewer chances, Matt Gilks was the one who had to make a few saves. In the second half, it came home to roost with Maynard scoring the only goal of the game from a set-piece after Gilks had made an initial save.
At least we had the chances, and hopefully, going forward, we’ll actually take them. It’s certainly better than not managing any chances. One decision from Ian Evatt that didn’t make sense was the non-use of Shaun Miller. A man who has come up with a couple of big goals off the bench wasn’t used when it would be certain he would have had chances if he has been trusted, instead Zak Elbouzedi, Marcus Maddison and Dapo Afolayan, who have a combined total of no goals this season, were the ones brought on.
Results elsewhere largely went our way, Tranmere’s draw with Cambridge did take them above us into third, but they did still drop points, while Forest Green lost. Only goal difference is keeping us out of automatic promotion with seven games to go and others seemingly faltering. We’ve still got a massive chance of going up, but the return of Antoni Sarcevic, and a bit more end product elsewhere, would come in handy.