I overcame a complete standstill on the M61 and struggled with the rancid stink, which smelt something like a cross between sour cream and chive Pringles sprinkled with mouldy Feta cheese atop of soggy cardboard, which engulfed the Macron stadium like a cloud of poisonous gas, to watch Bolton Wanderers concede a last minute goal once again.
This time it came against title chasing Norwich City, who are a very good side, but we contested fairly well with the Canaries for large portions of the game but, although they rarely really challenged Adam Bogdan's goal after the opening 15 minutes, the Canaries very much dominated the possession and were pushing for a winner for most of the second half.
Disappointingly. due to the controlling and suppressing way in which Norwich played, there were several quite bordering on very bad performances throughout the Bolton side, and thus choosing a man of the match is a rather difficult task.
I can only think of two candidates who really stood out to me as the best players on the pitch.
The first one being Tim Ream. Due to Matt Mills missing the game through injury, it was up to Ream to play in the centre of defence, a position he hasn't never faired too well in in a white shirt. It was a big game for him and he had to prove that he could handle the pressure and responsibility of being the last line of defence. Up to the 92nd minute he did, brilliantly.
He was cool, calm and collected at the back, sweeping up the mistakes that the ineptitude of his centre back partners lead to and being strong in the air and in the tackle. His distribution was top notch, as always, and he looked generally comfortable in a position in which he usually falters.
Heartbreakingly for him, however, he was out jumped in the air in the final minutes by Cameron Jerome, and the flick on landed at the feet of Gary Hooper who lobbed the ball over Bogdan and into the net.
Now, I don't really blame Ream for the goal, he was beaten in the air by a striker who's much taller and stronger than him, and his fellow defenders should have had a tighter hold of Hooper, rather than leave a £6m striker alone in the box. But, him missing the header directly led to us conceding, so I can't give him the MOTM either, I just hope people recognise the very good performance he put in prior.
So, my MOTM, which may come as a surprise to some of you, is Josh Vela. Up against a Premier League standard midfield in Howson, Dorrans, Tettey and Hoolahan, it was going to be a massive ask for our midfielders to combat them. And for the most part they were all kept very quiet. Largely thanks to the lung busting industry of Vela.
Bannan helped out too of course, but I felt his passing was quite sloppy at times in the first half and he had a quiet second half, where as Vela was top through out.
He didn't venture forward much as his game was very defensive focused but his passing was tidy. Defensively he was excellent, forever making excellently times tackles (apart from the one in the opening minutes that took out Redmond completely off the ball) and he was called upon on several occasions to bust a gut tracking back and make a recovery tackle, after a defender had slipped up.
So on a day of some very disappointing performances, Josh Vela was the best of the bunch.