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Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Nottingham Forest

We didn't win, but we did really

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

So, anyone else REALLY enjoy that?

After 126 days (since my birthday, actually) without a goal, the mighty Bolton Wanderers came away from a hard-fought game against Dougie Freedman's Nottingham Forest with a superb performance in the bank.

OK - well we didn't win, but I'm not bothered about that.

Neil Lennon sprung a surprise on the fans by leaving out Josh Vela, and by giving Arsenal loanee Wellington Silva a debut. Safe to say that both paid off in spades.

The game started with Wanderers on top - despite Forest's long-ball game directed towards the dangerous Michail Antonio who was up against Lawrie Wilson - the Wanderers man coped well with a tricky opponent who, on another day, would have scored a hat-trick.

It was bloody hot at the match and I, with my shockingly cool Millenium Falcon t-shirt, was boiling as ken.

Forest boss and enemy of football Freedman came away lightly from a game that had threatened to break out in acrimony, but instead which contained a few half-arsed 'wanker' chants in his direction - but that's what happens when you take a four year old to the game.

Ben Osborn, Henri Lansbury and Antonio threatened for Forest, while Dorian Dervite put two headers over the bar from Dean Moxey crosses before the quiet Zach Clough glanced wastefully wide from a Tom Walker free-kick.

The second half began in much the same way with Wanderers attacking the Forest goal with little joy. It was just after the restart that I went for a much-needed bottle of pop when the referee awarded us a penalty. For some reason, the taking of this penalty was given to goal-shy Gary Madine instead of Mark Davies or Zach Clough - making a mockery of Neil Lennon's previous comments about a technical player being an ideal taker - and the former Sheffield Wednesday man struck a very poor penalty straight down the goalkeeper's neck.

It summed up a frustrating outing for Madine who combined looking utterly unstoppable and who put the fear of God into Matt Mills on more than one occasion, with looking like someone who had never scored a goal in his life. He missed four clear free headers, and looked about as close to scoring for Bolton Wanderers as I do. A confusing performance, but with just enough positives to outweigh the negatives.

The disappointing Tom Walker had been replaced with Liam Feeney by half time, and our regular counter attacks usually led to the former Millwall man running his left back ragged. It was one of Feeney's better 45mins in a Bolton shirt.

The same cannot be said of Neil Danns who continued his duff form of late (as in since 2014). Offering little going forward and nothing defensively - the midfielder was guilty of ball-watching with 9 minutes remaining - allowing ex-Blackpool and Sunderland man David Vaughan thrashing a 20 yard thunderbolt past Ben Amos leaving the Wanderers keeper helpless.

It was at this time that the ineffective Clough was replaced. Emile Heskey and Stephen Dobbie came on for Wellington and Clough and it was the latter who struck home a well-placed shot beyond the Forest keeper - whose name escapes me - earning the Whites a hard-fought point. It should have been three - but at least we didn't lose.

So yeah, the performance was good and the atmosphere was equally good. It was, all in all, a fantastic game and a HUGE f-you to Dougie who, hilariously, took a striker off in the 90th minute - replacing him with a defender - only for his team to concede two minutes later.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.