Date: 27th October 2014 at 7:23pm
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My thoughts following our 3-1 win over Brentford

So, I’m back. As you may have read at the end of articles, I have been moving and with moving comes wifi shortages. To add to that, my phone has been acting up, forcing me to spend hours at coffee shops with wifi.

Anyhow, I seem to have at (least temporary but albeit slightly dodgy) access now as I wait to have my router installed next week but you don’t care about that…

Before I get started I’d also like to thank ‘The Vital Stig’ as you named him when covering before I started writing here. He’s been posting in my absence.

Saturday was actually my first trip to the Macron under its new name. I’d been to Fulham, Chelsea, Birmingham and Charlton this season but never Bolton.

On chatting to a steward before the game, he told me about how Macron had made the stadium a much more positive environment, and how Neil Lennon has made the place even happier. I believe Lennon attended a fans’ conference, it being his first home game in charge.

During this time I went to get my Bolton shirt for this season. I chose to get ‘Clayton 12’ on the back- a decision which many of you will question. However, given what I’ve seen of him playing for Crewe and in a Bolton shirt (be it training or coming off the bench)- this kid could be brilliant for us. He’s very sharp and if you watch those training videos on YouTube (which I highly recommend!) I think he’s our best attacking option despite his young age.

So- onto the match. I was pleased by how we played. Chung Yong Lee, among others, were very good again. I do think, though, that had Craig Davies not scored what was a well taken goal fans would not have been quite as happy.

We were good, yes. However, let’s not get carried away we had less possession and had things gone a little differently we could have ended up drawing. For that same reason we could well have won 5-0.

I think we were actually a little better at Charlton than we were on Saturday- we completely dominated the match, despite the scoreline not giving a clear reflection of what we deserved to get. Don’t get me wrong though, we were good on Saturday but I think we’ll have to step up our game a bit against Norwich.

Our first goal (Neil Danns’) was a terrific strike. Dann’s is like Darren Pratley in terms of work ethic, but with a football brain and sporadic technical ability. He has the tendency to skew shots and passes far from their intended target and doesn’t always strike the ball cleanly but his shot on Saturday was reminiscent of his lookalike Didier Drogba in his prime.

Mark Davies’ goal was terrific as well. He controlled the ball, beat a man and placed the ball into the neck fluently in typical Mark Davies fashion. Neil Lennon seems to be working wonders with the players who should be our best on paper- I can only imagine how well he’d do with our Championship team that had Marcos Alonso, Kevin Davies and Petrov also.

Craig Davies’ showed composure on his part and quick thinking by Andy Lonergan who continued his fine run of form with an assured performance on Saturday. The goal also got Bolton a 25,000 pound fine from the FA as Cravies’ celebration got the club their 6th booking of the match thanks to pretty poor refereeing if I may say so myself.

I’d also like to highlight the performances of our centre backs and Joe Mason. Both Dervite and Mills look to be complete defenders with ability both on and off the ball and are as good a pairing as you’ll find in the league at the moment.

Also, Joe Mason’s performance will hardly earn him any plaudits, though I thought it was a good return from the loanee. We’ll need him to be firing goals week-in-week-out if we want to climb up the league. He worked tirelessly and put in some nice touches.

Match Ratings:

Lonergan 8, McNaughton 7, Mills 8, Dervite 7, Ream 6, Spearing, 8, Danns 7, Pratley 5, Lee 8, Mason 6, Beckford 5

Mavies 8, Cravies 7, Vela N/A

Before I leave you, I’d like to point out that I tweeted last week about how anyone interested in writing for this site should drop me a line at bolton@vitalfootball.co.uk whether it be on a regular or one-off basis.

What are your thoughts on the match? Please leave them below.

 

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