On Tuesday evening, Bolton Wanderers comfortably dispatched Shrewsbury Town with a 3-1 win at Greenhous Meadow. Anything less would have been a disappointment for Wanderers fans. The win was what was expected from a strong Bolton lineup that featured a mix of established players and those fighting for a spot in the lineup. The players that started last weekend at Burnley staked their claim in retaining a starting spot while the two new boys in Rob Hall and Sanmi Odelusi showed why they should be considered.
Rob Hall impressed early on for Bolton, troubling Shrewsbury Town's defense on the right flank. Even before he scored Wanderers' opening goal, Hall was the clear danger man for the Whites. Early in the first half, his well-placed corner was met by the head of Craig Davies, who smacked it off the crossbar. He would also attempt to provide for David Ngog in the first half, but the French forward's turning volley was directed right at the goalkeeper. Then, there were the goals. Rob Hall opened the scoring on 26 minutes after cutting inside from the right flank and placing a low, curling effort to the far post. He also provided the assist for Sanmi Odelusi's first goal, placing a curling cross to the far post that Odelusi slid in for.
David Ngog, who started in the number 10 role just behind Craig Davies, also had a good day. The French striker didn't score but he did provide the dagger that put the match out of reach for Shrewsbury Town. Ngog once again had his chances in front of goal but really failed to do much with them. Where he proved his worth was as provider, especially when bringing the ball out of midfield. On a number of occasions, Ngog surged forward with 30+ yard runs, looking for teammates to lay off to. While a couple of those chances came close, the one that actually came to fruition was Bolton's final goal that saw Ngog burst forward from the halfway line before laying off to Sanmi Odelusi, who finished from the edge of the area with aplomb.
Our man of the match though was Sanmi Odelusi, the man that scored the match-winner before scoring the dagger. His two goals on the day showed a tenacity and hunger that Bolton Wanderers need. Bolton's third goal, Odelusi's second, was particularly good as the winger hit it with pace, sending the ball flying into the top corner. After the match, Dougie Freedman laid the praise on Odelusi:
"Young Sanmi Odelusi has worked very hard with Jamie Fullarton in the development setup since I have been at this football club. I felt that he deserved his chance this evening and he's taken his opportunity.
"We're looking to play more through the middle at times and that's part of the reasoning for switching our wingers around from time to time.
"I feel that having the two midfielders in front of our back four allows our attacking players a bit more freedom. That was certainly evident this evening.
All in all, it was a solid win for the Whites capped by some good performances. Who was your man of the match? If you need a bit of reminding, check out the highlights.