As you all know well, I don’t tend to do match reports. Mainly because I like to write about more subjective topics to allow for greater discussion on the comments. However, I haven’t read one that I completely agree with yet. I’ll keep the actual match event summary pretty short and I’ll analyse the performances of the players.
Obviously, going to Chelsea we knew we’d have it hard- especially given the strength of the team they put out. For the first half an hour or so they completely dominated, and it could have very easily been 3-0 to them. Andy Lonergan and Matt Mill’s heroics really saved us.
Mr Matthew Mills then went on to score a magnificent header shortly after Kurt Zouma took the lead for them with a simple tap in. Mill’s goal came from absolutely nothing. Liam Feeneys put in a decent ball and Mills climbed over Filipe to place the ball in the far corner with great power.
After we took the lead we saw a little more of teh ball, but we were still very much on the back foot. Andre Schurrle was controlling the match for Chelsea but somehow himself, Salah and Remy just couldn’t apply the finishing touches.
At half time I was desperate to see Dougie try something different. Maybe bring Max Clayton on? However, it wasn’t until he brought Chung Yong Lee on for Craig Davies at left wing when we really saw a difference. Lee hardly put a foot wrong and really showed his old Premier League self.
I read match reports that said he did nothing. Was anyone else at that match? Please tell me that you guys were watching the same match as me. Despite Lee’s hard work they still dominated as they cruised down the flanks and a low drive from Oscar saw them get back n front.
We showed a little resistance, but it wasn’t until we brought on Jay Spearing and then later Joe Mason where we really started creating chances. Jermaine Beckford really should have finished the match with a goal. Dougie Freedman really should have played with two strikers, that much we know.
However, on the most part, our performance was a credit to this football club. We have a team of fighters and if they do play like this we’ll be in the top half of the Championship. Yeah, we didn’t dominate the match but moments of brilliance have given me reasons to hope again.
9- Awesome performance from our ‘keeper. He put in spectacular saves to deny Schurrle on numerous occasions from set plays, his one-on-one stops were also pretty special. Adam Bogdan, you’ve got a hell of a fight on your hands. The only reason he wasn’t given a rating of 10 is that his distribution at times looked a little shaky.
5- A real baptism of fire for the Aston Villa loanee, and despite some decent touches, he didn’t have a great match. He gave their wingers far too much space and tried to do too much with the ball around our box. We can’t mess around in a match like this.
9- Mills was immense in our back four, putting in great blocks, clearances off the line and scoring a brilliant header. He played his heart out and did everything humanly possible to get his defence organised and fired up. He’s been doing well lately.
7- Dervite didn’t do much wrong and wasn’t helped by his left back. When given the ball he did tend to just hoof it up aimlessly but was put under pressure by the likes of Oscar and Hazard. He was pretty solid at the back winning some useful headers. This Mills-Dervite partnership could be our best option.
3.5- I don’t like giving harsh ratings, and I feel bad for Dean Moxey. Before the game he spoke about how he’s been frustrated by his performances, telling fans to expect better from him. However, he had a very very poor game. Whenever passed the ball, Moxey managed to get himself into a worse position then he passed it to Dervite- putting his centre back under pressure. He was beaten all day by his opposite man and a stupid throw in towards Danns cost us the game, I’m afraid. I do feel bad for him and hope he can bounce back. I believe he is a decent player but I’ve seen nothing in a Bolton shirt that has convinced me that he is.
6- Medo had a pretty quiet game and didn’t do much wrong. He cut out a few opposition attacks. However, we can’t have him being continuously ineffectual every match. He put in a good run during the first half, though and hopefully we can see more positive play from him in the future.
7- Darren Pratley is a warrior. He’s pretty poor on the ball but he worked harder than anyone else on the pitch. He put in some decent tackles and a few effective touches. Sometimes he can be absolutely awful, consistency is where he really ought to improve.
5.5- Not a great day at the office for Danns. He doesn’t look the same player that carried Bolton through the hard winter months. He doesn’t look to have the energy he did last year, and maybe it’s a good thing he’s only on a one year contract?
5.5- Another poor performance from one of our more reliable players. He didn’t do enough to help Herd defend to justify his lack of attacking contributions. He came close to breaking through Chelsea’s defence, but found himself dribbling into touch.
5- What was a target man doing on the left wing? Please, please tell me. He never got the ball in a position he could succeed in- he was useless. Cravies had been one of our best performers this season so far, and so he should be put into his favoured position.
5- Jermaine Beckford didn’t get much to work with. Like Mason he’s more effective alongside a target man. He wasted one or two half-chances but while you can complain about supply to strikers, they still need to try and work something for themselves
Chung Yong Lee
8.5- Lee completely turned the game around when he came on. He towered over Azpilicueta and John Obi Mikel to win aerial battles despite his tiny size. On the ball he had the opposition running around in circles with his quick feet and clever skills and his low drive almost found Mason.
7- Spearing came on and worked pretty hard. He played some good passes, though he didn’t see an awful lot of the ball. I think he now understands that he needs to fight for his place on the team, instead of thinking he has the divine right to it.
6- Mason didn’t really have enough time to make a big impact, though when he did come on we created chances. He did waste a chance to play Beckford through for a one-on-one with Cech with a poor cross.
Dougie Freedman gets a rating of 6 from me. It was a tough match and I applaud him for taking this seriously and putting out a pretty competitive team. I would’ve liked to see him experiment with Clayton or Mason earlier.
So, there we go- not a bad performance from us at all. I feel we gave a pretty good account of ourselves. Leave your thoughts below, my hands currently ache from typing but I look forward to hearing what you have to say.