Bolton Match Zone

Second Half Flatness Costs Bolton At Portsmouth


Bolton got back to losing ways yesterday after a flat second half performance saw them go down 1-0 away to Portsmouth.

It’s not the worst result in the world, despite Pompey’s obvious struggles only Premier League side Southampton had won at Fratton Park so far this season, and in the first half we were arguably the better side, unfortunately Will Buckley was unable to take a big chance when it came – Ali Crawford and Thibaud Verlinden also had opportunities to put us ahead. Remi Matthews also made a good save, unsighted from a free kick in first half stoppage time.

That failure to capitalise on those chances would cost us. Portsmouth were booed off at half-time, but they would improve, well at least sufficiently anyway, in the second half. Marcus Harness replaced Ryan Williams at the break, and the home side, whether it was fitness or not, created enough chances to match the possession they had already had. Jack Hobbs would give away a penalty, thankfully Brett Pitman would hit the post with it to give us a reprieve. We didn’t take advantage of that though, and Pitman would eventually get his goal, a cross came in, he was left with one defender marking him, but even from a tough angle he was somehow allowed to win the header, get it back across goal, and past Matthews – frankly an annoying goal to concede.

Now we have a run of games where it can be hoped we start winning some of them – Blackpool at home, Burton away (subject to it not being postponed), Rochdale at home, then trips to Bristol Rovers and Lincoln. Recent performances would suggest a victory should be round the corner.

On another note, Keith Hill appears to have been quite critical of some of the younger players of date. We know he’s quite straight talking – and results after the first couple of games did make it obvious that they aren’t of the standard to play week in week out in normal circumstances. But they stood up at a hugely difficult time for Wanderers and I’m not sure publicly criticising them is the right way to go about it, even if he does want more from them in certain areas.

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