There are a lot of words to desribe what happened at the Macron Stadium on Tuesday night, yet I’m struggling to find them. We’ve seen the same game for the last four matches now. Bolton, Gary Madine-less, will still play as if the bottle job is up front and hit aimless balls upwards for poor attackers to chase with out prayer of getting anywhere near them. Thankfully, we didn’t concede, so we came away from our massive match with local rivals Bury with a 0-0 draw. Great for them, pant shitingly worrying for every single Bolton fan.
The gap between Bolton in second and Fleetwood in 3rd is now down to 2 points. There are two games left. The Whites sure don’t do anything the easy way.
Here’s how the players did on Tuesday night:
Mark Howard - 5
Whilst Howard had next to nothing to do throughout the entirety of the game, aside from tip one header over the bar, his performance was still disappointing. It’s been a problem whenever he has played this season and it was so once again: his distribution. Not only was he constantly slow in getting the ball out when a counter attack was on the cards but his kicking in general was either over hit out of play or under hit to a member of the opposition, pretty poor.
Dorian Dervite - 7.5
It’s my second time watching Dervite this season and he was once again impressive, which is great to see. He didn’t have much to deal with in terms of players actually running at him, but he read the game well cutting out plenty of potentially dangerous scenarios and he was dominant in the air. Even his passing was accurate, too.
David Wheater - 8
Big Dave was probably the busiest of the three centre backs, as on several occasions he was forced to cover great distance, with a surprising amount of pace, in order to cut out danger. He led the back three well and came of so close to winning the game with a thunderous shot from 25-yards out. Does need to cut out the aimless long ball out, though.
Mark Beevers - 6
As with Wheater, Beevers was also privy to hitting hopeless, pointless long balls in search of target men who were sub six foot, and all it led to was us losing possession time after time. That and his defending isn’t why I’ve given a 6 (which is still a good score, by the way) but because I feel like he got a number of opportunities on goal, especially from set pieces, and dealt with them rather poorly.
Fillipe Morais - 7
The postman was up to his usual antics against Bury, beating his fullback endlessly with ease and delivering great balls into the box. Unfortunately he just wasn’t in sync with the attackers and no cross was able to be capitalised on. His corners, however, were largely poor and most failed to beat the first man.
Jay Spearing - 5
Spearing undoubtedly ran himself into the ground on Tuesday night and battled incredibly hard, never shying away from the big challenge. But, he just wasn’t good at all on the ball, with his touch being slack and his passing often wayward.
Derik Osede - 4
Take all the bad aspects of Spearing’s game and then subtract all the tough tackling and you get Derik’s performance - it wasn’t pretty. In one 30 second sequence he somehow conspired to do awful passes without even looking three times in a row. Very ineffectual.
Andy Taylor - 8
Our lord and saviour Andy Taylor made a more than welcome return against Bury and he showed exactly what we were missing in his absence. A calm head who can get on the ball and pick a pass, who can then move forward in joining the attacks and deliver good balls into the box. On the defensive side of things he was clever and proactive, even taking a Mark Beevers clearance in the face for the cause. The only downside was his finishing. He had four good opportunities and all of them dragged wide or sailed over.
Darren Pratley - 4
Playing as an attacking midfielder alongside Vela and behind Le Fondre, Pratley reminded us exactly why not many people missed him during the duration of injury lay off this season. He was clumsy and ineffective on the ball and offered nothing going forward. I won’t criticise his effort, but he really shouldn’t be playing in such an advanced position.
Josh Vela - 6
I feel a bit sorry for Vela. He ran his heart out all night, chasing hopeless balls and sometimes even making something of them, but on the whole he was given next to nothing by those behind him. He wasn’t afraid to get a foot on the ball and try and carry it, but alas the only direction he tended to go was backwards.
Adam Le Fondre - 6
Again, just like Vela, my heart bleeds for Le Fondre. He was given next to nothing all night, yet he still managed to score (which somehow due to the fucking blind referee and linesman wasn't given). He was chasing shadows all night, trying to out jump Bury’s burly defence, even beating them on a couple of times. Parkinson’s delusion that he can play hoof ball to ALF is not only damaging for the striker, but for the entire team.
James Henry - 8
I believe that had Henry have started we would have won the game, and with out a doubt Henry must start against Port Vale. He’s direct and actually has the ability to be able to do something on the ball
Chris Long - 4
Made no impact what so ever.