I will confess to being a tiny bit surprised by how good we were just then.
Fan pessimism had been personified pre-game with @officialbwfc tweeting that Bolton Wanderers fans had the lowest expectations of any fans in the Championship. This game perhaps showed we should all remove the rod from betwixt our respective cheeks and be a bit more optimistic in future.
The first half was fairly drab and stale. The players obviously were all adjusting to being back in the saddle once again. What did aid us somewhat is Derby County getting two players injured within this first half.
Hopefully they're both fine but there is no denying that the two changes allowed us in a lot more in the second half.
The second half livened up considerably and we saw the ball crack the woodwork 3 times! It was a half which many Bolton fans will go home wondering how we didn't win.
Gary Madine was quality and won absolutely everything in the air including two headers that hit the bar. Darren Pratley worked tirelessly and Jay Spearing has come back with an absolute vengeance. I could go over everyone and praise them but I shall just say they all looked up for the season.
Even when Emile Heskey came on, he caused real problems and hit the side netting in which I confess, thought went in. Alas for the sake of a few inches, we did not score. Goals are not far off in this team it seems.
The only thing that marred the day was the sending off of Spearing. Already on a yellow he took a tumble in the area to see another yellow for simulation. At first I thought it had been a yellow for remonstrating with the referee but I believe it was for the former reason. Fans close to the incident had said it looked as though he had just slipped, so we'll wait to see if this one is contested.
The main worry pre-game was defence with the centre back formally known as Prince not receiving international clearance until just a couple of hours before the game. It must be said they were rock solid all afternoon.
Lawrie Wilson looked a solid reliable right back and has the stamina of an Olympic long distance runner on performance enhancing drugs...so just an Olympic long distance runner really. He seemed to be covering and be in the right places all afternoon. It certainly bodes well for his future.
I was certainly worried about a brand new centre back pairing who had all but one day to work with each other. Those worries now bring me much shame due to my foolishness. Dorian Dervite and Prince Gouano formed a fine partnership keeping the expensive Derby attack at bay getting a well-deserved clean sheet.
Perhaps that they were both able to talk to each other in their native tongue contributed to their success. Regardless why, I'm very excited to see one of the two in a back three of Derik Osede and Tim Ream. The capabilities to play from the back could be frightening.
Anyhow, that tangent was a bit off topic. Off out in to the sun with you. Celebratory beer is waiting!