Well I didn't see that one coming. Bolton Wanderers finally get a win after waiting the entirety of time ever. Hull had their chances in the match, hitting the cross bar twice, but it was us who strolled away after a decent performance to boot. I feared we'd see much the same as we did against Cardiff and Middlesbrough but we defended resolutely. The team contained Tyler Garratt making his full home début, Lawrie WIlson in for the injured Josh Vela and Jamie Thomas and George Newell on the bench who could both make their débuts.
The first thing to react to is the progress made under Jimmy Phillips. Defensively we were very good today. We maintained our shape, Derik filled in whenever a defender went forward and the full backs both did respectably going forward. This can only have come from serious drilling on the training field and Jimmy deserves credit for that.
Clough was stuck out on the left wing again and it is painfully obvious that he doesn't belong out there. The poor lad had a torrid game. Kevin Davies said in his commentary that Jimmy was fed up with the imbalance of the team which had too few wide players. This needs to be sorted.
Clough was eventually subbed for everyone's favourite Harry Potter and Peep show character, Dobbie. He came on alongside débutante George Newell who looked very promising. Dobbie would score within minutes of coming on after good build up from all the team in truth. A good cross from Wilson (why don't we play him) made its way to Dobbie who tucked it in to the bottom corner.
Rather than throwing said lead away, the team dug in and defended like a real team should. Newell looked good in the air despite his stature and was a decent outlet while we were under pressure. He'd be disappointed to not find himself on the bench again next week.
What was farcical about the whole affair was Sky giving Darren Pratley man of the match. The midfielder's only moment of note was stepping over the ball to send his player the wrong way and then salmon dive in to the penalty area, kicking the ball away in the process. The award should have easily gone to débutante Garratt. The fact it was his début has no bearing on this at all; he was solid, he got forward and took part in build up play. He made vital blocks and ran himself in to the ground to get in to position or to help attacks. Notable mention for Derik Osede who has really found a home in defensive midfield. Calm in possession, slotted in to the defence when someone was out of position and made several good tackles.
Maybe next year wont be so bad after all?