Bolton Wanderers picked up their second point of the season after picking up an away draw in Birmingham. Parkinson will no doubt be slightly aggrieved at only picking up a solitary point given how his team were in control for large portions of the match. Ultimately a draw is probably a fair result and to take a point away from home, against an established team with all our injuries is decent. The line up had but one alteration from the team that drew against Millwall: Adam Armstrong for Adam Le Fondre.
The match had 0-0 written all over it with both teams struggling for quality in the final third. Birmingham saw 2 of their players off injured during the first half and this definitely had an affect on their game. Mark Howard made one brilliant save and a couple of half decent ones whilst Bolton rarely forced too much out of Stockdale.
In the second half, Wanderers had an injury scare of their own with Gary Madine seemingly injured. His initial hobbling however appears to have been nothing. Wanderers had a scare at the end with Birmingham getting a free kick inches from the penalty box. Whilst it ultimately came to nothing, Parkinson wont be happy with us being so careless with no time left.
It is good to finally see Armstrong get a start. Although ALF hasn’t done anything wrong, Bolton have lacked energy in the 11 and it was worth a shot. Armstrong looked good and was his usual, direct self but he definitely faded early on. The change failed to get Bolton their first goal from open play of the season. Whilst I can see why Parky tried it, the formation being the problem can’t be ignored for too much longer. I also think Pratley needs some time away from the starting 11. Whilst he does have a role to play, he is clearly still feeling the effects of the virus.
Elsewhere Burke and Cullen really impressed. It was Burke who really caught the eye however. He defended resolutely, was calm on the ball and looked alright when he ventured forward.
Positives have to be the clean sheet, the performance of Burke, Cullen and even Howard who is finding his feet. 2 point in 2. On to the next one.