Hello my dears, I hope you had a lovely weekend. Obviously you could have nothing but as Bolton had their first win in 10 league matches (since April, v. Boro for those of you counting). If you missed the game here are the highlights. Now onto actual analysis instead of me just blabbering on.
Tamir Cohen was unlucky to have his header saved by David James, it came off a lovely Sam Ricketts cross at 4 minutes. Matt Taylor horribly scuffed up a shot at opening up the scoring, wasting a nice through ball from Steinsson. Bolton finally got on the score sheet with the first away goal of the season, with Tamir Cohen's searing shot over James, again set up by Steinsson (busy boy is Steinsson).
Portsmouth's goal was a product of shoddy defending. Kaboul had a free header off a corner, completely unmarked which should not be happening (I predicted that Pompey would get a goal off a defensive mistake). They need to get down and actually mark their men (radical idea, I know). We have some quality defenders in Cahill, Steinsson, and Samuel (Knight still needs to prove himself to me), but their communication is horrible and leads to sloppy defending.
Onto the most controversial matter of the match: the penalty (skip to 4:17 in the highlights video above to see it). Honestly Ben-Haim (an ex-Wanderer) did get the ball first and it shouldn't have been a penalty. As a Bolton fan that was difficult to say. But hey, we got a player unfairly sent off last week, we're not strangers to bad decision making. All that aside it was beautifully take with Matt Taylor sending James the wrong way and cooly sliding it in.
Portsmouth's equalizer was another matter of poor defending. The ball pinged about the box before Boateng slotted it in. On the shot before the ball went in, three Bolton players converged on the ball leaving the net open for Boateng. Again this is a matter of communication and marking the man.
The third Bolton goal, off of a ridiculously long throw in by Jlloyd Samuel throw in. After touching about 5 different heads, it found Gary Cahill who kindly directed it to the back of the net, securing Bolton's first points of the season and denying poor Portsmouth any. This brings Bolton up to 17th with a game in hand over most of the table (does anyone know if the Arsenal match has been rescheduled yet?).
All in all Bolton's performance was fairly poor, but quite frankly right now Bolton could play like a League Two side as long but as long they got points I'd be happy or at least satisfied. I quite like Portsmouth and don't want them to go down, but it is a general consensus that they are one of the worst clubs in the league right now and if Bolton couldn't get points against them I would really start to worry. Our next task is Stoke at home, from which we should get at least a point. I may or may not do a preview, depending on my homework, but you can definitely expect a prompt match report as for the first Saturday in weeks I'll actually be home! Til then my dears.