Well done Bolton Wanderers. Facing a tough home game against a strong(ish) Norwich City side, our lads only went and won.
Now, I should caveat this, according to our LOV writers group, that I didn’t actually attend the game on Saturday due to the little matter of being in a different country, but given the way that the internet works apparently this is worthy of mentioning.
Manager Phil Parkinson started with the same team that had drawn 3-3 with Sunderland in midweek, and that meant the impressive Antonee Robinson and Mark Little continued at full back, with Karl Henry and Darren Pratley in the centre of midfield behind Gary Madine at the head of our attack.
Picture the scene - there I was, sat in one of Alicante’s finest (and only) German bars, supping a delightful litre of their own-brewed Dunkel, when my phone pinged - I nervously picked it up to see that we’d scored! Fancy that!
Now, imagine my absolute shock when the name of the goalscorer came through. It was in the 35th minute that one Gary Madine struck at the near post, beating his man to be first to attack a Darren Pratley cross and notch his second in two games, and fourth overall this season.
Soon after, the much-debated Adam Armstrong curled home a 20-yard effort into the Norwich goal, giving me the second shock of the afternoon. A third would come later in the afternoon as I was presented with the bill.
Norwich scored late to make it 2-1 as they chased what would have been a fifth consecutive away victory, but Wanderers held on manfully, and at the same time rising from the bottom of the league into the heady heights of 23rd spot.
Looking at the match stats, it certainly seems like Wanderers were up against it at times, which adds further weight to any defensive praise coming their way. Yielding the lion’s share of possession to our opponents (32% to 68%) would normally, you’d think, lead to a defeat, but it is to our credit that the points came home.
The lads made it nine from the last four games which gives us a solid base to continue our survival attempts which look a million times more rosy today than they did a fortnight ago.
Congratulations go to Robinson, to Henry, to Madine and to Alnwick - the goalkeeper made one very good save in the first half, whilst Wanderers can thank Cameron Jerome for some wayward finishing, as per usual.
We have one of those tedious international weeks coming up, before we visit Preston North End on Friday 17th November - when Parky will be hoping his men can continue this good run and further boost our hopes of remaining in this division.