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Match report: Bolton Wanderers 3 Brentford 1

Bolton Wanderers were looking to bounce straight back from midweek defeat at Charlton...

Clive Rose

In a game down at the Valley in which the mighty Bolton Wanderers hugely dominated throughout, we were extremely unfortunate not to come away with all three points. Following that positive performance, fans were hoping that our first home game under Neil Lennon would result in a convincing win, so that our march up the Championship table would continue.

A convincing win is exactly what we got. As Lennon took to the pitch to clap the rejuvinated home support, it was clear there was a sense of anticipation in the air. There were two changes to the team from the Charlton game, with Tim Ream & Joe Mason replacing Dean Moxey & Liam Feeney.

There wasn't too much to report on in the first half. We started brightly early on with some early chances from Jermaine Beckford, Chung-Yong Lee & Neil Danns, we really took control of the game as the half wore on. This is a great positive to take going forward. We've gone from getting absolutely battered in games to controlling them, the injection of a confident, positive, charismatic manager has worked wonders so far, and it was clear to see. Chungy looks like a new player under Lennon. Spearing and Danns also seems to work in centre midfield. I thought fans gave Darren Pratley a bit of a hard time yesterday, although he isn't the best player, he's being asked to a job on the left that he isn't naturally suited to, and I think he did a decent job.

In the first half we didn't take our chances, and I echo what Neil said in his post match press conference, our anxiety (especially in the final third) was clear to see. Second half, we put in 30 minutes of absolute quality. We kicked it off with a clear intent on taking the lead. It started with a superb goal in the 60th minute when Tim Ream slipped the ball to Neil Danns who slotted it in the bottom left hand corner for his first goal of the season.

We continued to dominate with the introduction of Mark Davies who gave our side that extra bit of quality, and after being on the pitch for around 3 minutes he produced some excellent footwork in a great individual goal. If our midfield duo of Lee & Davies can get back to their best, I believe we will be a constant threat going forward.

We were set back slightly in the 82nd minute when Jon Miquel Toral scored for the visitors and made for a nervy final 10 minutes as we all know how often we have thrown games away from winning positions.  We weathered the storm well with Matt Mills and Dorian Dervite proving a good pairing at the centre of defense, and even though we were under pressure, we dealt with it very well.

Craig Davies took advantage of an open net in the final minute of extra time to provide a scoreline which was more consistent with our performance. That will do his confidence a world of good, with his excellent workrate now topped up with a goal, apparently he came in on the players day off last week to train, good on him.

With a comfortable 3-1 victory, it's all looking very promising going forward. That being said, our next three games are against arguably higher level opponent. Norwich City, Cardiff City & Wigan Athletic. Bar the pie eaters, both of those were Premier League teams last year and should provide a better outlook on exactly where we are as a team.

With the way we have been playing since Lennon took over, I don't think there's any reason why we can't go into all three of those games and take 3 points off each one.

Call me optimistic.