A lot of the pre-match build up was focused on the Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper. Hungarian International Adam Bogdan was ruled out with injury and in stepped Andy Lonergan, to the delight of some Wanderers fans, who had called for the Preston and Leeds goalkeeper to be given an opportunity. Due to the tactics of Ipswich Town, Lonergan was not tested as much as he may well be in other games. A key concern with Lonergan is that he has struggled with aerial aspects of his responsibilities, but it was hoped the inclusion of Matt Mills, who has excelled in this area, would counteract Lonergan's weakness.
Lonergan produced a save of the highest quality to deny on-loan Manchester United Midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe with the game still 0-0, a vital intervention. There were, however, some issues in Lonergan's kicking and I'm sure he will be disappointed with the goal conceded in spite of the tricky bounce of McGoldrick's strike from the edge of the area. It was a mixed afternoon for the stopper.
Bolton's player of the season, by some distance, has been USA defender Tim Ream. His confidence on the ball and distribution skills remind me of Tal Ben Haim at his best in a Wanderers shirt. Ream continued his good form on Saturday and showed a lot of intelligence choosing to constantly run to attempt to break the lines of the Ipswich defence knowing their was adequate cover behind him as Ipswich deployed a lone, often isolated striker in David McGoldrick. There does seem to be a generic set plan in place in how to beat or get a result against the Wanderers at the Reebok, and Ream did his best to disrupt that plan.
There were also good performances from Chung-Yong Lee and midfielder Neil Danns, who has impressed in his loan spell from Leicester City.
The Man of the Match was Kevin McNaughton, who once again put in a flawless performance at right-back and provided Bolton Wanderers with a safety net on that side. It is the inclusion of rhe full back which has marginalized the hard-working Darren Pratley, as Dougie Freedman feels comfortable with his defensive options. McNaughton is a very intelligent player who stands up to the winger and is rarely beaten. The full back was comfortable on the ball and showed a real willingness to go forward until the introduction of Jay Tabb provided Ipswich with some more attacking impetuous which saw McNaughton focus on his defensive duties.