Hull City won for the first time in 21 visits to Bolton by a first half Frazier Campbell (yes he’s still playing) goal and dumped Wanderers firmly in the thick of relegation trouble and piled pressure on manager Phil Parkinson. Six changes were made from the mid-week defeat to Nottingham Forest, as Parky adopted a 3-4-1-2 formation which earned the Whites a point at Rotherham last weekend. Let’s have a look how the players rated.
Ben Alwnick: GK: 6.5: Yes the goal went through his legs but it was struck from such close range that I think you can’t really blame him for that. Did well to read Kamil Grosicky’s second half effort to make a save to keep us in the game. Perhaps was a little slow in distributing the ball at times if I’m nit picking.
Marc Wilson: CB: 5.0: Does show quality on the ball but does he show enough grit and defensive diligence? Seems to frequently get beaten too easily on the ground and then rather than working hard to get back in position he shouts and points at everyone else. Needs to show more for a player of his experience.
Jack Hobbs: CB: 6.0: Another steady performance by the former Forest man, winning plenty in the air and generally winning his personal battles. Will have to shoulder his share of the blame for a ball being allowed to trickle across the 6-yard box before being converted by Frazier Campbell.
Mark Beevers: CB: 5.5: A very Mark Beevers performance. Some good strong tackles and headers won and some better passing, but as always combined with some aimless hoofing. Weak defending early on to allow the ball to come in from the left-hand side for the Hull City goal. Also irritates me that a man of 6’5” tall seems to completely fail to be an attacking threat from set pieces.
Pawel Olkowski: RWB: 5.5: Got up and down the right-hand side with his trademark enthusiasm but unsure if he is truly comfortable in the wing back role. Doesn’t seem to want to try and beat a full back down the outside, hence his insistence in cutting inside often resulted in him running into trouble and narrowing the pitch, making it easy for Hull to defend. Was static in his defending for the Hull City goal.
Lloyd Dyer: LWB: 5.5: The one-time Dyer really ran at his full back he easily beat him and looked a threat, but this didn’t happen anywhere near often enough, whether it was Dyer’s fault or the players around him not feeding him, Dyer didn’t really do much else of note before being substituted. I get the feeling that he is still feeling his way to match fitness and there may be more to come from the experienced wide man.
Josh Vela: CM: 6.0: Will inevitably get blamed as he always does, but I have sympathy for Vela as he is frequently asked to play different roles week in and week out. For the most part he harried the Hull players relatively well and provided energy in front of the back four. I’m probably on my own in thinking that his partnership with Williams has some potential if it was given time. Blotted his copy book with some soft defending down the left with Beevers to open the door for Hull City to score the only goal of the game.
Joe Williams: CM: 7.0: The Everton loanee showed great desire to win and never stopped running, putting in his best performance in a White shirt since his debut at Preston. He always showed for the ball and was willing to run beyond the central strikers. Not everything he tried came off, but Parky must encourage him to continue to be brave in his play and use his energy to make those positive runs forward.
Erhan Oztumer: CAM: 5.5: Oh Ozzie, I really want to like you. He’s had several games playing in the attacking midfield role and he hasn’t really produced yet. He always looked like he could make something happen, he was brave and showed for the ball, but in general his use of it was poor. His lay off attempts for one twos were rarely accurate enough, the same with his cross-field passes. Played a good through ball to Donaldson (though again if I was harsh I thought it pushed the striker too wide) and showed excellent feet to open up a relatively simple shooting opportunity, that he contrived to put wide. Would have been a 6 for effort and trying to be creative, however he loses another half mark for taking all the set pieces and almost all hitting the first man or floated unthreateningly to the back post.
Clayton Donaldson: CF: 7.0: This guy is in great nick for 35. Made great headway in running the channels to push the Hull defence back and get Bolton up the pitch. Won a lot of flicks into dangerous areas and bullied the Hull centre backs in his role as target man. Was unlucky with his lofted finish on his weaker left foot running away from goal in the first half. Tired in the last twenty minutes as Wanderers lost their shape chasing an equaliser.
Christian Doidge: CF: 5.0: This mark is potentially harsh as he had little or no service, but as one of our writers asked on our chat ‘what is he?’. Our conclusion is that he is a fox in the box finisher of the ilk of Ivan Klasnic, but can we afford to play with a player like that in our system. Never looked like having the pace to get on the end of any of Donaldson’s flicks and apart from the odd one-two he also didn’t seem to have the strength to hold the ball up. I get that he needs time to adjust from League Two, but I also can’t help but feel that the way we are using him isn’t doing him any favours either.
Buckley for Dyer (67): 5.0: Much like Dyer didn’t seem to get into the game down the left-hand side.
Magennis for Olkowski (81): N/A Yes you want to throw an extra striker on but has Magennis ever played wing back before. Made some powerful runs but in my opinion should have been brought on much earlier in the centre forward role. Hard to give him a rating as a right wing back.
Parky: 5.0: He’s really struggling at the moment. The line-up today was positive and I could see the logic behind it, but then he was let down by conceding a really soft goal. I don’t rate throwing a striker into a wing back role just to get another forward on the pitch because I can’t believe that the players are used to that system. Hence it seemed to destroy what little cohesion we had. The players are certainly still giving him effort, but has his long-standing tendency to set up defensively impacted upon his ability to instil confidence in his players to go out and attack to win a game? He badly needs a result as fan backing is rapidly eroding.