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Player Ratings: Bolton Wanderers v Rotherham United

It's a start!

Charlie Crowhurst


We've finally won a game, at long, long last!

So do you know what that means? This piece will actually be (mostly) positive for the first time ever!

The opening to the game we looked like a half cohesive unit, the players moved the ball quickly with sharp passing, and carved out some chances. We were even treated to a fluid counter attack from the opposing teams corner. But, in good old Bolton fashion, we allowed Rotherham to get back into the game, and when Wordsworth's free kick hit the back of the net the heads dropped and we went rapidly down hill.

The second half continued in a similar vain, with Rotherham coming so close to doubling their lead when they hit the post. This result doesn't change my opinion on Freedman but, to his credit, his substitutions did change the game, even if they were really obvious. The introduction of Lee and especially Feeney gave Bolton more drive and directness and low and behold, with in a minute, we were level.

Then for the last 20 minutes or so we were terrific, attacking with pace and determination, with the fans driving them on and no jeers to be heard. The players showed great character to go back in front again after conceding and the fight and passion they showed to see out the game was heart warming to see.

We're by no means out of the woods, but it's a very encouraging start.

Andy Lonergan - 6

Lonergan continued to build on him impressive showing on Saturday with another good performance, he may have been able to do better with Rotherham's opener but could do nothing about their second, the goals aside though he kept hold of everything and showed bravery at the end to go into a herd of players and collect the ball, getting clattered in the process.

Tim Ream - 5

Another solid performance from Tim, he's slowly starting to get back to his excellent form last season but he did look really uncomfortable on the right side of defence and whenever he had to use his right foot, which is quite understandable.

Matt Mills - 8

He may have given away a couple of really needless free kicks, one of which leading to a goal, but he more than made up for it with a heroic defensive performance. He was a colossus in the air, winning the vast majority of his aerial duals and made several vital interceptions, especially the unorthodox one he somehow made towards the end of the game. I still don't know how he did it.

Dorian Dervite - 7

Dervite continues to improve, with yet another sturdy performance. He and Mills seem to work really well together and as a result a good partnership is forming. Just like his counterpart, Dervite was also dominant in the air and he even showed his worth going forward in the first half, when he ran the length of the pitch to tee up a chance for Danns.

Dean Moxey - 4

Much improved after Saturday, but that's hardly saying anything. He looked like a half functioning left back on Tuesday and actually did well going forward once Lee was introduced. But his positioning and awareness were both quite bad, and I feel if Rotherham tested him more then we would have seen his frailties once again.

Jay Spearing - 3

I know this piece may be sounding like a weekly roasting of Spearing but, for the god knows how many matches in succession, he was quite bad again. His passing is extremely poor and unadventurous. Now the defensive side of the game is pretty anonymous too, against Rotherham, he could hardly get close to any attacking players and it was the gap in midfield he left, that nearly lead to us going 2-0 down. He really needs to be dropped. His corner for Mason's second was excellent, however.

Darren Pratley - 4

I thought Pratley wasn't that bad, he was nice and tidy on the ball and was involved with all Bolton did well in the first half. But, he is Darren Pratley and apart from constant running, he offers very little.

Mark Davies - 5

We already look a much more dynamic and exciting side with Davies back in the team, but I don't think he had too much of an impact against Rotherham. He still seems a little rusty, especially with his passing, but I really can't wait until he gets back in the groove.

Neil Danns - 4

It was a typical performance from Danns, a lot of running, effort, and trying to be spontaneous and create chances for himself, but with him in the diamond we didn't have nearly enough on the left side and as a result we felt far too narrow, so it was very understandable when he was removed.

Craig Davies - 8

He may not get many chances playing upfront, but Davies once again lead the line brilliantly and fiercely. He was forever selflessly battling, with two defenders pulling him back, and his presence often gave Mason, and others, the time and space they needed to create. He's by no means the perfect striker, but by god he fights for it and never stops running.

Joe Mason - 7

Mason really is an enigma, for most of the game he was completely invisible and hardly getting involved in the play at all. But then out of no where, three very well taken finishes to win us the game and break the curse of Fredi Bobic. Then he fluffed another two golden chances which, hate to be the cynic, on another day really could have cost us. He really is a puzzling player, but, if he can build on this performance and continue to score vital goals, then that's what he'll be remembered for.


Liam Feeney - 6

Feeney magically became excellent when he was played in his correct position, who'd a thought? The winger's introduction gave Bolton the width they so desperately needed and was, one again, a constant threat down the right hand side, with his direct and skilful runs.

Chung-yong Lee - 5

He didn't have as much of an impact as Feeney, but he did play an important part in our equaliser, linking well with Moxey and he showed so much fight and desire in the closing minutes, constantly battling for the ball.