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Match Report: Fleetwood Town 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

A frustrating afternoon at Highbury

Northampton Town v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Bolton suffered their first defeat of pre-season today after a goal in each half saw Fleetwood take the spoils.

Parkinson started with a very strong team, potentially one which he would've initially liked to have used for the opening day, but now may need to make some alterations after todays performance. The team consisted of Howard in goal who played the full game, as did four of the back five, Wheater who captained the side, Beevers and wing-backs Stephen Darby&Andrew Taylor. Dervite also played in that back line but was subbed off in the second half for Derik. The formation was debatable further up field as to whether it was 5-2-3 or 5-3-2 with Buckley and Ameobi in more attacking roles than Vela and Karacan whilst Madine was the most prominent striker in the team.

Fleetwood started the brighter and nearly took the lead in a matter of seconds as a low cross which was fizzed in was narrowly poked wide by Jordi Hiwala. Hiwala caused problems for us from then on and soon enough bagged himself a goal after he managed to get on the end of another low cross which ended up in the back of the net after 18 minutes.

From this point on, Wanderers struggled to get back in to the game having never really got going properly despite keeping the scoreline to one until half time. Just before the break, Ameobi caught a Fleetwood player with a high foot who then stayed down and proceeded to receive treatment which saw play stop for a few minutes, not ideal for a Bolton team who looked as if they couldn't wait for the half time whistle.

No changes were made at the break as predicted, anticipating that there would be wholesale changes made at the hour mark. However, as the hour mark passed, Parkinson decided to only make two changes, Adam Le Fondre and Adam Armstrong were introduced in place of Will Buckley and Sammy Ameobi. As a result, the formation changed again as Parkinson looked to be experimenting with different systems throughout, now a 3-4-3 with the two substitutes along side Madine.

The change in system proved to no avail as Wanderers were caught out by a Fleetwood team who were very pace on the break and soon made us pay for our inability to cope with just that as a long range effort from Mcalney flew past Mark Howard and into the top corner, doubling Fleetwood's lead.

Wanderers looked down and out and in no hurry to rectify the situation. Darren Pratley was brought on in place of Gary Madine rather be-musingly. Wanderers only real effort at goal came from an Adam Le Fondre effort late on which he curled way over the bar. Without a shot on target all game and the referee giving us absolutely nothing, this one wasn't aesthetically pleasing to watch in any way.

As the crowd, which had created such an impressive atmosphere in the away terrace in the first half, began to disperse in numbers, the full time whistle blew and we were well and truly beaten. Having failed to challenge the Fleetwood defence anywhere near enough, we never really looked like scoring, an issue which needs sorting out immediately. Let's hope there will be more of a standard system in place and less experimenting on Tuesday against non league Stockport County.