In an uneventful and underwhelming afternoon at the Macron Stadium Josh Vela was arguably our only player to shine.
In a game of very few chances the result was eventually decided from 2 spot-kicks, which saw both Rudolph Austin and Eidur Gudjohnsen confidently convert from 12 yards.
With Neil Lennon's men sticking with their succsessful 4-4-2 formation Vela kept his place in the starting line-up at right back and put in a very solid shift. Throughout the 90 minutes Vela was extremely solid and reliable at the back. Apart from the calamity in the opening minutes, which consequently lead to the visitors taking the lead, Andy Lonergan's goal was predominantly unharmed, and that was partly down to Vela's reliable defending.
Vela also impressed the home supporters with his attacking movements. He often ventured up the wing from right back and had an impressive success rate. With Vela constantly linking up with Neil Danns and Liam Trotter he seemingly glided past Charlie Taylor and helped to support the Trotter's attacking movements with ease.
Combined with his impressive defensive and attacking efforts the 21-year-old was a constant threat with his accurate balls into the Leeds United penalty area. His attitude and work ethic was admirable and you could sense the home fans' affection for someone who many consider to be 'one of our own' after Vela progressed through the Eddie Davies Academy.
But it wasn't only us here at the Lion of Vienna Suite who believed that Vela deserved to be Bolton's ‘Man of the Match.' Social media was full of praise for the young player, especially on twitter.
Josh Vela was everywhere, getting stronger by the week. Time to try & push him into midfield if we can. Anyone's better than Trotter. #bwfc— whitty (@whitty_howfen) January 10, 2015
#bwfc man of the match? I rekon Josh Vela— Ryan Latham (@TrotterChatter) January 10, 2015
More importantly his boss, Neil Lennon, was full of superlatives for the versatile defender. In his post-match press conference with the club's official website this is what Lennon had to say:
"I thought Josh Vela was outstanding from start to finish. We've got a 21-year-old lad there who is just getting better with each game.''
Vela has been earning many plaudits from his work both on, and off the pitch. Salford-born Vela has been doing a lot of work within the local community, which saw him visit a young Wanderers fan unfortunately suffering from cancer.
Hopefully Josh Vela can continue to excel at this football club and have a long and successful tenure with the Trotters.