In a week where PETA told us to stop using phrases such as ‘bring home the bacon’ because it was cruel to animals, it was a finish to a match which made you want to find a cat and kick it to an inch of its life.
From 2-0 down at the league leaders to getting an 88th-minute equaliser, only to get a man sent off and lose it in the third minute of four minutes initially added on, Saturday’s conclusion at Carrow Road was really hard to take as a Bolton fan.
Maybe it’s the relentless knocks to any optimism you may have supporting this club, especially in a week where the players haven’t been paid, the PFA have been called in, and according to one newspaper nib, the club was even saving money by not painting the line properly for an Under-23 game. Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t seem to get happy endings. Maybe it was the fact Norwich have got a good knack for scoring late goals, including against fellow strugglers Millwall the other week.
But shortly after the equaliser, and before Sammy Ameobi’s harsh dismissal for a second yellow (a foul yes, a yellow, no) I had that sinking feeling that we would still leave with nothing. And so it turned out, Norwich scoring very shortly after that set piece, and Teemu Pukki bagging the winner. Depressingly, it’s not even near the top of the list of depressing things this week.
Bolton looked solid in the first half, ultimately undone by a sweet shot from Mario Vrancic where Ben Alnwick may have been caught unsighted. There was some intent from us, Norwich still had more chances, more possession and were much better at completing their passes, let’s not get carried away, but the effort was there, Bolton’s forward players tried to close down and Joe Williams had his usual decent game.
It’s just a case of getting that level of performance again, and not utterly cave in when there’s an entirely winnable game further down the line. Goals in the three of the last four games is a step forward. Now we need points.