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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers 4-0 Gillingham

A thrashing was dished out and it made us all very merry indeed

Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images

Well what an enjoyable evening that was.

Bolton Wanderers overcame a spirited Gillingham (who can be proud of their performance) in a 4-0 victory last night at the Reebok. It was a tougher game than the scoreline suggests, which is a credit to our strength and our determination.

This aside, let's go:

1 - Is this the real Gary Madine?

For the longest time I've had to read/endure pro-Madine sentiments from the online community. For the longest time they have had to endure/read my mostly anti-Madine statements.

Perhaps after last night we have found some common ground.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man should, in my opinion, win what will likely be his first ever LOV MOTM award - his two goals were important but his overall play was far more impressive.

He was dominant against the Gillingham backline, giving them grief from the first kick until the last.

Following the goal against Sheffield United last week it was good to see him grab another - a well deserved double should hopefully give him the confidence to be more ruthless in front of goal in the future.

So is this the real Gary Madine? I certainly hope so.

2 - Ben Alnwick is now one of our most important players

You can credit Mark Beevers, Josh Vela and Zach Clough all you like - and every inch of praise is deserved, but in my opinion Ben Alnwick has become one of the most crucial elements of our recent successes.

Last night he faced up to the aerial and ground threats that Gillingham posed with equal aplomb, and kept yet another clean sheet. He will be delighted with that following the concession of two goals against Sheffield United in the FA Cup.

Alnwick was a rock behind two other rocks, with his calmness transmitting through the defence and beyond. From a shaky start he has developed into a fine addition to the ranks - yet another bonus for Phil Parkinson and Ken Anderson.

On this form, Mark Howard will struggle to get back in the side.

3 - The Miracle of Sammy Ameobi

Imagine being the sort of person who doesn't rate Ameobi.

He is quite possibly the most skillful player we have had on the books in many a year.

Do you know what he's going to do next? Doubtful.

Does he know what he's going to do next? Probably even more doubtful.

Should you care that he doesn't ? Definitely not.

There may well be a pair of opposing viewpoints on the man going up on this fair website tomorrow - you should only concern yourself with the second of those pieces.

Ameobi is brilliant and anyone who doesn't think the same is a stupid idiot.

4 - Zach Clough and Josh Vela

What a combination.

Has a player ever come back from the doldrums in the way that Vela has? I can't remember many players ever making that switch from 'meh' to 'adore' in such a short space of time. The decision to make him the Kevin Nolan of this team has been an inspired one, and he looks better every week.

What else can be said about Zach Clough?

He too improves week after week, and we will be all the poorer for missing him when he leaves in January. He glides across the turf with a style and ease that makes him perhaps the greatest academy prospect that we have ever produced.

Consider yourselves lucky to have lived through the Zach Clough era.

5 - We are going to win the league

Mark my words.

With our next two opponents being the teams in 23rd and 24th respectively, as well as being just a point behind league leaders Scunthorpe United, we have a real opportunity to be above and in front of them by the time New Year's Eve comes around.

Our form is such that we can be fully confident that we will eclipse the chasing pack and maintain our run going forward.

The last league title party came in the late 90s when we won the First Division. I was only 14 at the time but I remember so clearly how jubilant the matchday atmosphere was, and how excited I was for every single upcoming game.

I'm starting to get that feeling again, guys.