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Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Bolton Wanderers: Immediate Reaction

Wanderers start poorly but finish with a flourish

Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City - Pre-Season Friendly
Derik gets his first Wanderers goal
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Wanderers avoided a potential banana skin in the League Cup by coming from 1-0 to win 2-1 courtesy of 2 second half goals. Despite playing poorly for most of the match it is Wanderers who progress.

The team was much changed from the one that started against Leeds United. Ben Alnwick, Reece Burke, Mark Little, Antonee Robinson, Derik Osede, Jack Earing, Darren Pratley, Will Buckley, Adam Armstrong and Aaron Wilbraham all came in with just Darby surviving from Leeds.

Wanderers immediately started the game on the back foot and it was not against the run of play, late in the first half when Crewe got a goal courtesy of Chris Porter. It was more of the same in the second half and Crewe had 2 good opportunities to make it 2-0. These arse clenching moments prompted Parky to make 3 changes at once with Filipe Morais, Gary Madine and Jem Karacan all coming on. Wanderers immediately responded to the changes and were level before long. Some lovely build up play down the left wing culminated in a pull back and a simple tap in for Adam Armstrong. This was soon followed by the winner scored by the most handsome man on earth, Derik Osede. Wanderers saw out the game and will once again be questioning the use of 3-5-2.

We must remember that this is still early in the season and we saw wholesale changes to the side that started on Saturday. Perhaps Parky could be said to be slightly naive about how potent Crewe would be but the team should have easily matched Crewe which it failed to do.

Darby had another iffy game but I do implore patience. 2 bad games doesn’t make a bad player even if that’s all we have to go on. Pratley too was a bit rusty but is apparently playing through a virus. Buckley may need more time to settle and Wilbraham seemed to be missing in action. Again, it’s early doors so we cannae be too harsh.

Finally it’s worth questioning who played well enough to warrant getting in to the team for Saturday. First it must be said Ben Alnwick had a good game and I would rather him between the sticks than Howard. Derik scored a goal (his first in a white shirt) and looked thoroughly decent throughout the game. He made a sumptuous pass to Armstrong at one point and dealt with any headers and distribution from the back; far better than Dervite ever could. Whilst Parky obviously doesn’t rate him, he deserves a spot on Saturday. We’ve lost Vela who Derik could replace as a defensive mid’ allowing Cullen forward or replacing the aforementioned Dervite. Burke also looks to be a better option than the Frenchman on the basis of this game at least. Whilst quiet most of the night, Amrstrong’s pace and directness was obvious and I’d love to see him in the team even if we don’t get to see his impact off the bench. The others will have to do more to work their way in though with some slightly rusty performances off of the rest.

Feeling a bit more confident about Saturday now. COYWM