Don't get me wrong, I like 5-1 emphatic wins as much as the next girl, but there's something about a hard fought comeback that is more satisfying. I love watching the goals go banging in, but it feels so much better after it looked impossible. I realise that we did not win this, and looking at the whole game we barely deserved a draw, but it feels even better than last week's result. This was a game where we came from behind, and showed some belief to salvage what could have been a disaster. Although highlights can't really summarise this scintillating game, here are the goals.
The game started fairly even, with disjointed attacks coming from both sides. Bolton were badly missing the midfield organisation that Stu Holden provides, he had to drop from the line up due a a thigh strain suffered in warm up. A young Mark Davies took his place, in his first start this season and boy, did it show. The confident Bolton on display this season was nowhere to be found. Finally Blackpool broke the deadlock in the 38th minute, the start to a period of Blackpool dominance. It was extremely frustrating for the White side of the spectators, Blackpool remained firmly on top, and any attack Bolton mounted soon petered out with a sloppy mistake.
The second half started in a similar fashion, and when Blackpool scored their second goal in the 57th, things looked very grim indeed for Bolton. Coyle saw this and made two key substitutions: Petrov for Taylor and Rodrigo for Lee. We've been saying all season that Petrov is more inspired in attack than Matty Taylor, and taking off a winger for a striker says everything. The Bolton attack did begin to look a little more potent, and while it was more in the throwing-the-kitchen-sink style than our usual fluid movement, it was something. After 10 minutes of improved but not good enough football, Coyle took off Muamba, a defensive midfielder, and in a risky move, replaced him with Klasnic, a striker. He clearly was thirsting for points. It seemed to do the trick, and in the 76th minute Petrov got Bolton on the score sheet with a sweet volley.
From there, the game only got more exciting. Blackpool were not about to park the bus, and Bolton were desperately searching for an equaliser. In the 89th minute Mark Davies scored a nice shot off a beautiful series of passes, a real team goal. It was an edge of the seat finish to the game, with Bolton looking like they really could get a winner. It was frightening how lost we looked without Stu in the midfield, but the way we dug deep in the end was very encouraging. The way Coyle changed the game with his substitutions was also refreshing, while they may not have technically made sense. they worked well and inspired the team. While this certainly wasn't the best technical performance Bolton's put out, in a lot of ways it was one of the best spirited displays of the season.