Date: 20th September 2009 at 12:29pm
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Twenty five minutes and five seconds. That`s how long it took for the boos at the Reebok Stadium to ring out as Gavin McCann`s over hit pass thudded out of touch behind the Stoke City goal.

Earlier in the day, a combination of PR spin and media band wagon jumping had led Gary Megson to be quoted in the Sun newspaper, bemoaning the lack of recognition from Bolton fans for his efforts.

‘That`s why we don`t like you, you ginger prick,` explained an occupant of the West Stand, after nearly half an hour of football free action. The visiting fans were not unaware of the apathy.

‘Your support is f***ing shit,` they chanted. It`s more that Bolton support is f***ing bored. John Lennon was closer to the mark.

‘Christ you know it ain`t easy,` warbled the former Beatle over the tannoy at half-time. It certainly ain`t John.

‘Do you want to watch the second half or go home,` asked one concerned father of his young son, on the concourse during the interval. ‘Are you sure?` he continued, somewhat surprised, as junior opted to stay put.

Such fortitude is to be admired, for if there has been a worse half of Premier League football played, than the first between Bolton and Stoke, then footage of it could be used as an instrument of torture.

The second period started in more promising fashion with Ivan Klasnic and Ricardo Gardner, replacing Fabrice Muamba and the lost-at-sea Gretar Steinsson, prompting rumours that there had been a dressing room mutiny.

The effect was to open up the game, but alarmingly, this seemed to suit Stoke. After Matt Taylor had missed narrowly from Gardner`s pass, the visitors went ahead as Dave Kitson, the only player in football whose hair is the same colour as his shirt, turned Sam Ricketts and placed the ball beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Bolton could have been level shortly after when Thomas Sorenson saved from the lively Klasnic, and then Zat Knight missed a glorious opportunity, hooking the ball over from eight yards.

From then on Stoke looked to have the points in the bag, but with a minute remaining, Danny Collins upended Sam Ricketts on the right hand edge of the penalty area, when there looked more chance of the full-back disappearing into the crowd, than homing in on goal. Matt Taylor put the resulting spot kick away.

Having been given a get of jail free card and with five minutes of stoppage time signalled, it would have been expected that the home side go all out for the winner, but the lack of desire in this Bolton team is such that they preferred to sit back and hang on for the draw. In the closing seconds Jussi Jaaskelainen had to save from Liam Lawrence to stop the visitors re-establishing their lead.

Earlier this week, Bolton sent out a mail shot to those fans who hadn`t renewed season tickets, asking why. They could saved on the postage. The evidence was all there on the pitch on Saturday.

 

3 Replies to “Will the Last Fan to Leave Turn the Light Off?”

  • It isn’t life or death against West Ham so given the present atmosphere Meggers has the chance to show this ‘tactical nous’ we hear about, read about, but never see. Try something, ANYTHING, so long as it’s not Kevin Davies plus one with eight defenders. It could be your last chance to show us your managerial genius . . .

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