2019 was a poor year for Wanderers, and 2020 didn’t start any better, as Burton beat us 4-3 at the University of Bolton.
Bolton did have a great first 11 minutes though, racing into a 2-0 lead. If you look at the first goal a bit deeper though, you’d see that a great last ditch tackle set the counter attack in motion – from there now former winger Thibaud Verlinden found a great ball to pick out Joe Dodoo who got down the right hand side to make it 1-0. Minutes later, Daryl Murphy continued his great run of form to double the lead.
That was as good as it got though. When the game could have done with being calmed down, David Templeton got one back – and two would become three as Lucas Akins, who we struggled with all day, would score twice before the break.
We couldn’t defend, our midfield of Luke Murphy and James Weir gave Burton the freedom of Lancashire to play in, only the forwards came away with any real credit, Verlinden would hit the woodwork, and an equaliser was disallowed for offside as the officials, led by Scott Oldham, weren’t getting any praise from the crowd.
Luke Murphy would win the Idiot of the Day award – three days after Jason Lowe was given a red card, Murphy went to tug back a player when he was already on a yellow card. Might it have not been on his mind not to do that? He’ll miss the trip to Rochdale now, when our midfield looks bare.
Dennis Politic came on late and made it a contest with his first league goal for the club, a decent hit too from the young Romanian, while Ronan Darcy nearly completed an improbable comeback, but he fired over from a tough angle. We therefore still have the weird distinction of losing every game we’ve ever played against Burton.
The good thing now is there’s a week and a half before we next play. Will Buckley came off the bench for his first appearance in months, and it looks like we’ll have to try and find new bodies from outside the club to fill the gaps we still have.