Another game in which Bolton Wanderers, for the most part, dominated proceedings and once again should have won.
But it's not all bad! We scored a bloody goal! And wasn't it nice for us to be the team grabbing the last minute equaliser for a change, especially since it came after a classic Dougie Freedman move: take off your only striker and throw on another (a sixth!) defender onto the pitch and go five at the back. What a joke that man is.
So yeah, we played quite well against Nottingham Forest, we were very resolute in defence and was only beaten by a fantastic strike and we created chances going forward. That goal just eluded us until the last minute when substitute Stephen Dobbie smashed one home.
It's a start, hopefully this can now springboard us onto better things.
Here's how those players did:
Ben Amos - 6
Literally copy and paste everything I've written about Amos so far this season, as it was the same yet again. He had nothing to do all game, couldn't do anything about the goal, distribution great, composed in everything he did. Long may it continue.
Lawrie Wilson - 7
I imagine there were quite a few nerves around the ground when we saw that the deadly Michail Antonio would be up against Lawrie Wilson for the entirety of the game, but Wilson handled him very well. In fact, I hope Wilson emptied his pockets before putting his shorts in the wash last night, otherwise Antonio may well have drowned. Now, it helps that Antonio did not give a single fuck at all and it's so obvious that he is leaving that club before the window closes, but regardless, Wilson still nullified the threat he poses to a single shot from distance. Another dependable, workman like performance from the right back, who I feel is quickly becoming a fan favourite.
Dorian Dervite - 7
Dorian Dervite may be the long passer of the ball I've ever seen and he can't head a ball on target to save his life but, thankfully, he was very good defensively yet again, continuing his good start to the season. I always knew there was a good centre back inside Dervite, it just disappeared for a time last season, but it seems to be back now. Once again, he was the level head in the back line, being the leader not only by talking to his fellow defenders but leading by example too. I don't recall Dervite putting a foot wrong defensively, he won the ball back countless times and he also did really well in bringing the ball forward when he decided to keep it on the floor rather than rake it out of play. He won all of his tackles, all of his defensive arial duels and was really solid all around.
Prince-Désir Gouano - 8
After a couple of wobbles in the last couple of games, Prince was back to his best with a performance that was arguably even better than the one on his debut against Derby County. He was everywhere making vital interceptions, winning headers, clearing the ball and making one spectacular block that I still don't know how he managed it. My only qualm with Prince, and it's only a qualm because it makes my heart stop beating, is that he's always in a state of looking like he's about to completely fuck up, he just never does - yet. Whether it's letting a long ball forward bounce and inviting pressure from an attacker, taking an age to jump up for a header, trying to be smart with the ball in the penalty box whilst running it out play and then getting clattered, chasing an attacker half way up the pitch or running into his own player when they're both chasing back, he looks like a disaster waiting to happen. But the disaster just doesn't occur - what a player.
Dean Moxey - 8
Who would have thought that 12 months ago we'd be praying for Dean Moxey to be fit and make it in the side? Thanks to the wonders of pain killing injections, Moxey did make the game yesterday and he was - once again - fantastic. He wasn't tested an awful lot until the brilliant Chris Burke entered the pitch, but even with the tricky winger on the right, Moxey dealt with him just as easily. He was up and down the pitch all game, proving support for Wellington Silva and putting in a few dangerous crosses into the box. At the back, he was strong and assured, with nothing getting past him.
Neil Danns - 7
After the game Danns came in for some harsh criticism on social media, and I'm not quite sure why, as it was a second good display in a week from the midfielder. He hardly set the world alight playing in the holding midfield role, but he did exactly what he needed to do: he won the ball back and then kept it moving nicely, giving it to the players who could do some damage. His presence on the edge of the box meant we could keep the pressure on Forest, as he was always there to sweep up poor clearances and get attacks going again. Would his spot in the team be better served with a better player there? Sure. But it's hard to call him for another steady performance in which he did little wrong.
Mark Davies - 7
It is really nice to see Davies not be negatively effected by the armband, in fact, he's seemed to welcome the extra responsibility with open arms. Again, it was another industrious performances from him, and he did the role I predicted he would do (in this here article) to a tee. He received or won the ball from deep and then looked to carry it forward himself and then get other attackers involved, just like he did for the equaliser. I really wish he'd shoot more, but it's good to see him getting back to his best. Also, four games in a row he's gone now without injury. Without trying to tempt fate, that's really fucking good to see.
**Both Davies and Danns should have closed down Vaughn for their goal, but didn't. Knock half a point off each if you want.**
Tom Walker - 5
Tom Walker finally got his first start of the season on Saturday, however, he didn't have the best of times since he was played on the right. He did try and he looked dangerous at times, easily beating his opposing fullback, but he's just so left footed that after he hit one poor right footed cross, he was always looking to get the ball on his left from that point onwards. It's understandable and he was perhaps a little unfortunate to be substituted at half time, he wasn't playing particularly badly he just really didn't suit playing the wrong wing. I'd say he may be lacking a bit of match fitness too.
Zach Clough - 5
There are two players in our starting XI who really need a goal to boost their confidence, they keep coming close, just nothing seems to be falling their way. The first of the two is Zach Clough. After looking like he was getting back to his best against MK Dons, it was another quiet game from the youngster. Michael Mancienne, a centre back, was playing in midfield and Clough found space difficult to come by. He had one shot that just deflected wide and if that had have gone in I feel it would have been the end of his quiet spell, but alas. He's more of a known entity now and clubs are going to try and mark him out of the game, he does need to learn how to adapt to that and cope with constant pressure, but I still have faith. If he can just get closer to Madine and feed on his flick-ons then I think we'll see him regain his form. It's up to us now, the supporters, not to get on his back for his underwhelming start to the season and continue to support him.
Wellington Silva - 7
Is this the player we've been waiting for? Hold me, because I think I'm emotionally attached to another loan signing already. Considering Arsenal loanee Wellington Silva must be a little short of match fitness, he was very good on his debut for the Whites. As reports claimed, he is an explosive player who always looks to run at defenders as soon as he's on the ball. With lightning quick feet and an even quicker mind, I feel as if he's going to be very special for us. He ran into trouble a bit too much and his end product wasn't there just yet, but given time Silva is going to be a great player. With him we've got a player who will drag us about forty yards up the pitch just on his own, he'll worry defences, he'll win free kicks in dangerous positions and he will make things happen. Unlike Walker, Silva seems right at home on the opposite flank and it was his drives inside with the ball that caused Forest the most danger in the opening half. I can't wait to see him fully fit.
Gary Madine - 5
Of course, Gary Madine is the other play who desperately needs a goal to boost his confidence. He had the perfect opportunity on Saturday, but his penalty was casual, slack and, quite frankly, awful. It was far too closer to the keeper and de Vries easily saved. He did show character to not let his head drop too much after that and he did play well overall. He, once again, won everything in the air and held the ball up well, but his shooting and heading on goal just wasn't very good. I know there's more to striker's than just goals, but ultimately, he needs to start scoring sooner or later or we're going to be sailing up that well known creak once more.
Liam Feeney - 8
Low and behold, a winger actual does well when he's played on the wing, and not upfront. I know there aren't many Feeney fans out there, but even the most begrudging of haters has to admit that he was great against Forest. Out on the right he was linking up well, looking to get past defenders and, most importantly, swinging some very dangerous crosses into the box. We won a penalty off one, and came close to scoring off two others. More of the same, Liam my man!
Emile Heskey - 6
The big man was only introduced once we went a goal down, but yet again his presence was felt. He wasn't able to get on the ball much, but he got one effort on target and made him self known in the box. Which is all he really needs to do.
Stephen Dobbie - 7
He may have only touched the ball four times, with one of them being quite a bad touch, but considering the other three were all pivotal in the last minute equalising goal and our first goal of the season - I'll let him off. Neil Lennon has brought Dobbie to the club as an impact player, and although there were many grumbles when Lennon threw him on to the pitch, he made the exact type of impact we've been longing for, with an excellent goal.
Dorus de Vries - 7
Eric Lichaj - 5
Matt Mills - 6
Jack Hobbs - 6
Daniel Pinillios - 5
Kyle Ebeciio - 6
Michael Mancienne - 7
Ben Osborn - 5
Henri Lansbury - 5
Michail Antonio - 2
Tyler Walker - 3
Chris Burke - 7
David Vaughn - 8
Danny Fox - 4