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(Belated) Immediate Reaction: Bolton 3 Port Vale 1

The Whites stepped up a promotion gear today. Make no mistake, unlike back in August, this is the real deal.

Parky a man whose plan is coming together.
Parky a man whose plan is coming together.

Well, I certainly am picking the right Macron games, for the long drive up north at the moment. And what a game it was.

Bolton made, what is considered a useful side in this division, look like a pub team in the first half. It was almost too easy, as if Wanderers were playing an exhibition match.

The thing that really struck me was simply how well and how effectively the lads are playing as a team. Whereas in August, our 4 game winning streak seemed to be despite not playing that well, now, there is no doubt that this team are in a promotion winning stride.

We had absolutely superb partnerships throughout the whole side today, it wasn't just the Wheater and Beevers show. From Wilson & Ameobi on the right to A Taylor and Clough on the left, Derik and Trotter (yes even he played well) in the middle to Vela and Madine up front, it all clicked into place. I'm meant to be doing the MOTM article later and by God, we have contenders. Wilson was supreme, his best game for Bolton by a country mile. Ameobi had us the edge of our seats, possibly for the first time since Clough arrived on the scene. Clough himself was doing what Davies should've been doing before his injury. Josh Vela is like a new signing, he was born to play the advance midfield role.

As if all the above wasn't enough, all three goals were out of this world. Cloughs turn, mazy dribble and strike, Ameobi exquisite cross for the Vela tap in, after turning their left back inside out and the Wilson 25 yard pile driver were all fantastic to see. Flicks and tricks and outrageously good tackling to retrieve the ball were everywhere from a side overflowing with confidence.

It's almost churlish to remark on any criticism and I'm grabbing at straws to point two out. Madine should've scored from one of his three or four good chances and is a man who needs a goal. Having said that, Madine played well, generally linked up well with Vela and Clough and drove the Port Vale defenders to distraction on many occasions. The other point was Bolton blotting their copy book by letting Port Vale score. Believe you me when a say that this was at the powder puff end of the soft goals scale. I'm not exaggerating when I say that apart from five minutes in the second half, Vale were utterly humiliated today and were incredibly lucky to concede just three.

So, the promotion race really is on for Bolton Wanderers and thank fuck for that I'm relieved to say.