It was certainly a strange lineup that Owen Coyle threw out for Bolton Wanderers as they welcomed Watford to the Reebok. Chung-Yong Lee was given a rest following his long travel experience during the week while Marcos Alonso earned his first start of the year. Matt Mills returned to the lineup alongside Zat Knight as Tim Ream was not even in the Bolton 18-man sqaud.
It could not have started any better for Bolton as the Wanderers forced two brilliant saves out of Manuel Almunia in the opening two minutes. The perfect start was then cemented on three minutes as Chris Eagles sent a wonderful ball in from a free kick. Matt Mills got his head on the ball and put it into the back of the net past Almunia.
As the first half wore on, Watford started getting more and more into the game but it was still largely Bolton in control. Bolton asserted their position right before the halftime break thanks to another great ball in from Chris Eagles. This time, it was Kevin Davies who scored from the Eagles free kick, making it 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers. With that, Chris Eagles had either directly assisted or scored six of Bolton's seven league goals on the season.
As has been the way with Bolton and halftime team talks, it seemed like a different Bolton side came out of the dressing room. Watford started the half off very brightly, troubling the Bolton defense a lot more than they should have. The Hornets made their start to the second half count with a goal on 58 minutes. Rather than the defense being at fault here, this one was really on Adam Bogdan. The Hungarian goalkeeper misjudged the defender's curling ball in. With Bogdan missing the ball in the air, it settled nicely in the side netting inside the Bolton goal.
David Ngog marked his return with a great performance, showing just how instrumental he can be in the Championship for Bolton Wanderers. The striker was really unlucky more than anything to not score a goal as he was substituted off just prior to the Watford goal. From all indications, it seems as though Ngog had asked to come off and we really hope it was more precautionary than anything else.
Bolton managed to hold on for the remaining 32 minutes and stoppage time despite a lot of nervy defending. The Trotters were within a 3-1 win on a number of occasions with Matt Mills' second goal being called back for a foul on Almunia, a close bit of interplay between Afobe and Pratley, and a Kevin Davies header right at the Watford keeper. Bolton will look to Tuesday's match against Birmingham as they sit on seven points and in 11th place.