Another week and another loss with little positive to look at after the final whistle. It was an early mistake that sank the Trotters after a man lost his mark on the corner. Apart from that, the Trotters defended relatively strongly but failed to make anything count at the other end, barely testing goalkeeper Paddy Kenny until the match's last chance. In matches like this, it is difficult to pick one Bolton Wanderers man who stood out above the rest but it's something that we have to do.
David Ngog was one of Bolton's most dangerous attackers on the day, constantly finding both space and teammates to create chances. The French forward took three shots on the day, all of which came close but all of which were ultimately off the mark. The forward came close to scoring early on when he forced Paddy Kenny into a save but that was before the referee ruled that Ngog had touched the ball with his hand just ahead of the shot. He created what was perhaps Bolton's best chance of the game, until at least the 90th minute, when he turned inside the area and fired just wide. A more clinical day on the ball and there is no question that Ngog would have scored and been our man of the match.
Tim Ream started his second league match thus far this season and once again began playing in midfield. The American looked comfortable on the ball again in a defensive role. He made two important tackles on the day, with only Jay Spearing making more in that regard (with three). Ream also made the second-most clearances out of any player on the field and had a good day passing the ball (not bad, not spectacular). Ream could have been man of the match had his temper not got the best of him. In the match's dying embers, with Bolton badly needing the ball, Ream got frustrated at Leeds forward, Noel Hunt, and pushed him, giving United a free kick when the Trotters were desperately pushing for the equalizer.
Our man of the match against Leeds United was Marc Tierney. The full back was once again strong on defense, marshaling the left side of the field and largely preventing Leeds United's chances from the flank. In addition to that, Marc Tierney was largely Bolton's most positive attacking force on the day in terms of creating chances rather than taking them. Of the players that attempted more than 15 passes on the day (discounting Jermaine Beckford, Rob Hall, Medo Kamara, and Zat Knight), Marc Tierney had the highest accuracy rating, completing 90% of his 29 attempts and connecting well on crosses into the attacking area. With Bolton Wanderers sorely lacking strong performances in defense, perhaps it is Marc Tierney that the rest of the team can look to as a leader.