After the embarrassment of Eastleigh on Saturday Bolton Wanderers were immediately back on their travels as they made the short journey up Snake Pass (no chance they did like) to Hillsborough, to face promotion chasing Sheffield Wednesday.
You know what? It was probably our best performance over 90 minutes all season. Performances from a lot of players who are often (righty) criticised were very encouraging and we were in the game throughout the 90 minutes. Which makes the whole situation even more sad, because despite playing one of our best games all season - it still wasn't enough to beat (granted, a quite good) side.
Wednesday were no where near their best on Tuesday night, which is probably why we played as well as we did - but as always you have to consider that we made them play badly, and they weren't just simply bad.
So despite a very promising performance that may (hopefully) turn into an upturn in form, we still left another game with another defeat and remain at the foot of the table, growing ever more stranded with every passing week.
Here's how the players did. Please keep in mind that I watched the game through a drunken haze:
Ben Amos - 4
It's becoming increasingly obvious that Amos really struggles with shots from distance. Just like the opener against Rotherham, Wednesday's first goal of the evening was a hit-and-hope effort from thirty plus yards which really should have been dealt with. As Fernando Forriesteri's drive went goal wards, Amos didn't seem to react and fling himself to his left until the ball was already well past him. Goals aside, he didn't really have much of anything to do, but he didn't seem assured in what he did have to deal with - in sharp contrast to his usual composed self. He flapped at one ball into the box in the first half that should have resulted in another goal.
Rob Holding - 4
The youngster struggled a bit against Wednesday, with the likes of Daniel Pudil and Forristeri attacking his side it was Wednesday's most obvious point to attack. The second goal came from Pudil's cross, which I do feel Holding should have done better in closing down. He also wasn't as confident going forward with the ball like he's tended to be so far, always looking to smack at as far away as possible instead of taking the time to pick a pass.
Dorian Dervite - 5
While watching the game it didn't seem as if Dervite made any obvious mistakes and looked alright, but it's Dorian Dervite so I clearly just can't remember them.
David Wheater - 7
He's been our rock all season and was (for the vast majority) once again against the Owls, he led the backline like the captan he should be and was a big reason as to why the usual free scoring Wednesday got very little joy all afternoon (aside from the three goals I know). With the winning goal it was Wheater who missed out on the ball as Gary Hooper stole it away from him with a brilliant touch, that could have been given as a high foot. I wish Wheater had have concentrated more on winning the ball back rather than claiming for a foul before Hooper finished brilliantly, but you can't ask for everything. He did, in fact, score a goal of his own though and it was brilliant in his own right. He met Feeney's in-swinging free kick and managed to flick the ball in the opposite direction and it looped over the goalkeeper and into the net. A goal he deserves after all his heroics at the other end of the pitch this season.
Dean Moxey - 5
As I say, I was drunk last night so I may be missing patches of memory, but I don't recall Moxey doing much of anything at any end of the pitch really.
Liam Feeney - 4
My memory is working perfectly here and, aside from the cross which set up Wheater's goal, Feeney didn't do anything at all.
Josh Vela - 6
Vela played (which was nice to see) behind a midfield line of four and in front of the defence and although it seemed like he didn't do much, I actually think he did. Playing in the void between midfield and defence I feel as if he was a big part of keeping Wednesday's creative midfielders, like Barry Bannan and Kieran Lee, very quiet.
Darren Pratley - 5
Through hid body about a lot and continued to endeavour with all his energy, but it resulted in nothing really worthy of note.
Wellington Silva - 7
After a, frankly, completely embarrassing performance against Eastleigh, Silva redeemed himself somewhat and showed the type of player he can be, last night. Whenever he got the ball he was direct and quick, he rarely fannied about waiting for defenders to come to him, instead he made a beeline to the box and tried to create something - which he did with our first goal of the evening.
Liam Trotter - 6
This may come as somewhat of a shock to you but Liam Trotter was actually decent last night, no lie. Playing in the middle of a four man midfield along side Pratley, but being the midfielder who would advance and try and support Madine, he did well. He was nice and tidy on the ball and actually used his strength to keep hold of it from time-to-time. Seeing him comeback into the side and actually make an impact is a very pleasant surprise.
Gary Madine - 7
While he had as much impact in his goal as the lives of Northerners do in the mind of David Cameron, Gary Madine is now our top goalscorer this season and he marked the occasion with a battling performance. As I say, the goal happened to him rather than he scoring it, as the ball literally just hit him and found its way into the net - but he did have to be there I suppose. He's a massive goon for not celebrating though. Aside from 'his' goal, he worked tirelessly all night as the lone front man. His first touch in trying to pluck the ball out of the air was very good and he then did well to off load the ball to a team mate. Positive showing all round.
Zach Clough & Kaiyne Woolery - N/A
Whilst it was wonderful seeing Clough in a Bolton shirt again, for what may be the last time, the substitutions were left far too late in the day and neither play was able to make an impact upon their introductions. It's one of the most frustrating things about Lennon, which I plan to write about in more depth soon, but he never makes a positive change when we're in the ascendancy and thus we never capitalise. Infuriating.