Bolton Match Zone

Minutes Of Madness Lead To Bolton Slip


Bolton let a 3-1 lead slip but still at least remain unbeaten after a 3-3 draw at AFC Wimbledon.

It was an occasion of note, as the new Plough Lane was hosting a competitive game in front of fans for the first time. The ground was partially opened last season, but even when in theory they were briefly allowed a crowd last December, they hadn’t sorted the safety certificate, and only this summer have been able to do the required test events. It was near a capacity crowd, with apparent teething problems in some areas, but to me it seemed a tidy little ground, even if the stewards at the front wouldn’t get out of the way. Our travelling fans added to, and probably were mainly responsible for, the good atmosphere.

Anyway, onto the match. We conceded a poor opening goal when Anthony Hartigan crossed and Will Nightingale was able to slot in a free header past Joel Dixon, who had kept his place after Tuesday’s win over Barnsley. Ricardo Santos had a decent game but that aside, the back four was poor. Whether that’s a fitness thing (John missing midweek for example) or something else, conceding three goals a game isn’t going to get us anywhere this season.

We did respond very well initially though, Dapo Afolayan was brought down and Eoin Doyle converted the penalty to equalise, One positive for us was the two open play goals, they both seemed to be the type that Ian Evatt wants to see, with the crosses in and players arriving. Josh Sheehan would put us 2-1 up, continuing his fine start to the season, and then after the break Afolayan would get on the score sheet for the first time this season, arriving at the back post after being set up by Amadou Bakayoko.

But then in a mad few minutes, we let all that work come undone. Ayoub Assal scored a penalty of his own, and almost immediately after Dapo Mebude cut in from the left and equalised. We probably should have had another penalty before the game was out. A draw would have been an okay result before kick-off, but when you’re 3-1 up you have to see it through.

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