In the second match of the preseason for Bolton Wanderers first team and the second leg of their Scotland trip, the men in white were downed 2-0 by Hamilton Academical at the New Douglas Park. Yes, Bolton couldn't find the back of the net in a match where the result was completely meaningless, but that's not to say that the building blocks aren't there. The Trotters came close to scoring on multiple occasions but despite having the goal in their sites, their crosshairs need fine tuning. This is just the start of the preseason and Bolton Wanderers will have to learn to take their opportunities but now is not the time to worry.
Bolton started the match with a relatively strong lineup of Adam Bogdan, Marcos Alonso, Matt Mills, Tim Ream, Keith Andrews, Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies, Darren Pratley, Joe Riley, Josh Vela, and Chung-Yong Lee. Wanderers nearly got on the scoresheet a number of times with Petrov, Chungy, Pratley, and Mills all seeing opportunities. Hamilton would make the breakthrough in the second half after Bolton Wanderers had subbed out much of their first XI and brought in the likes of Zatyiah Knight, Andy Lonergan, Kalifa Cisse, Tom Eaves, Chris Eagles, Samuel Ricketts, Mark Davies, and Gregg Wylde.
The Accies' breakthrough came in the 60th minute when Jon McShane, who had been troubling the goalkeepers all afternoon, made good on a loose ball in the box. McShane had forced a full-stretch save out of Lonergan just two minutes earlier. Hamilton then stuck the dagger into the Bolton side in the 67th through defender Stephen Hendrie's volley after a Lonergan double-save that Bolton could not clear.
Speaking after the match, Owen Coyle told the official website:
"This was our second game after six training sessions and it enabled us to get the squad more game time against a bright and competitive Hamilton side.
"While no one likes to lose, we have to ensure that as many of the players all get a run out. We made use of 22 of our squad so that is bound to impact on the playing style.
"Saying that, in the first half we should have come in at least 3-0 up on the chances we had. Their goalie made some great saves with his legs and then we were guilty of shipping a couple of sloppy goals.
"Pre-season is all about fitness and that will always be the main aim. We will make sure we step that up over the next few weeks as we move towards August 18.
"Again thanks to the fans who gave up their Saturday. We had more than 200 with us today and we appreciate the support."