Bolton Wanderers couldn’t back up victory over Derby County against Stoke City on a cold Tuesday night. Here is how the players, and referee, fared.
Remi Matthews 6
Decent performance for Remi as he had a bit more to do tonight than on Saturday. Arguably nothing he could do for both Stoke’s goals as the men in front of him let him down. Put up a few decent saves, looked comfortable coming out of his goal and his distribution was solid again.
Jonathan Grounds 5.5
Another improved performance for Grounds, building on what was so far his best performance in a Wanderers shirt back on Saturday. Got forward well but lacks pace to threaten opposition full backs going forward and that lack of pace can leave him exposed as seen by how easily Ince turned him inside out on occasion. Should have stood Ince up better for Stoke’s 2nd
Jack Hobbs 5
Gets a five in conjunction with his defensive partner at centre back for an average game. Both centre halves didn’t ever look like they were in control of the game, didn’t seem to know where each other where early doors and our marking for Martins Indi’s goal was an example of that. Has played well with Wheater recently and I feel that this performance was a blip overall but expected Hobbs to marshall the side better tonight.
Marc Wilson 5
Poor performance tonight from the ex Stoke man, probably shouldn’t have been put ahead of Wheater given the performance of him and Hobbs at the weekend. Looked lost at times and a lack of communication and organisation cost the back four early on and left Wanderers chasing the game for 80 minutes. Improved as the game went on but poor overall.
Pawel Olkowski 5
Pav’s worst game in a Bolton shirt so far, think he would benefit with being rotated with Mark Little on occasion to keep him fresh for our big games; ie Blackburn upcoming this Saturday. Pav looked a little leggy today and was pretty quiet overall, didn’t influence the game and was part of poor defensive performance.
Jason Lowe 7
Solid performance for our skipper for the evening, got about the park reasonably well and seems to be developing a good relationship with Williams in the middle. Looked good in possession but could have done more to help the defence out at times.
Joe Williams 7
Better game tonight for the young loanee, much improved on this weekend. Attacked the ball well, was a constant nuisance in the middle of park and made himself known against a good Stoke midfield. Him and Lowe were excellent at times together and seem to have a good understanding, his passing was much improved and he linked up well with Oz.
Erhun Otzumer 7.5
Arguably our best player tonight and certainly our most creative, he worked extremely hard and because he isn’t afraid to put himself about, ran his heart out till the end. Always seemed to be trying little flicks and touches into our forward line and linked up very well with Williams and those around him. Delivered a lovely ball into Magennis for what should have been our equaliser and is definitely starting to cement his place in the squad.
Craig Noone 6
Not a poor performance from Noone but just not as good as this weekend gone. Industrious as ever on the right side, got forward well at times and was always an option off the ball, had one decent shot on target, but ultimately didn’t cause Stoke any worries and was well marshalled by Martina.
Will Buckley 5
Not the best night for Buckley, he had a very quiet game. While he got back well and supported Grounds on occasion he didn’t impact the game going forward in quite the way he did at the weekend, gone were the silky touches and back was the aimless running and wasted spells in possession. Should have probably been rested tonight for Wildschut.
Josh Magennis 6
Not a bad game for Josh but not great either. Was always going to be difficult for him against Williams and Martins Indi but his movement off the ball at times was lacking and aside from his disallowed goal, did very little of note throughout the game. Was no surprise when he was subbed for Doidge but could have been a different story had his goal been allowed.
Christian Doidge 5
Came on and Stoke scored soon after, worked hard after his inclusion but had little time to impact the game beyond anything other than a consolation.
Clayton Donaldson 5
Again, came on at the same time as Doidge and had little time to impact the game. Put himself about well as you’d expect but his passing was a little reckless at times. I do wonder why we insist on sticking him out wide, as that probably affects his overall game.
Yanic Wildschut 6
Good performance from Yanic tonight and has made a claim for a start this Saturday. Arguably should have been given a chance ahead of Buckley tonight but he looked lively after coming on and used his pace well to drive at the Stoke back line and put Wanderers on the front foot. Best of the subs off the bench but again, didn’t really have enough time to effect the game.
Unused: David Wheater, Josh Vela, B. Williams and Gary O’Neil
Jeremy Simpson 0
Bonus inclusion for the referee. I understand that they have high pressure jobs and can be prone to mistakes but the standard of refereeing in this division at times is ridiculously poor. Gave bad decisions either way and effectively killed Wanderers hopes of getting anything out of the game by disallowing a clear goal.