Wanderers again surrendered a lead to extend their winless run in a fairly tepid local derby against Wigan Athletic at the University of Bolton stadium. Despite the publicised off field problems, Wanderers managed to put in an improved performance compared to the midweek defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Lets see how the players rated.
GK: Ben Alwnick - 5.5: Didn’t have an awful lot to do but I felt he went down early for the penalty, allowing Grigg to slam it into the opposite corner. Was quite often slow with his distribution, too hesitant to release to players and start quick counters, instead often opting to kick long to Doidge.
RB: Pawel Olkowski - 6.5: The Polish international is slowly finding his way back to form. Defended much better than I’ve seen recently, crucially cutting out an early ball across the penalty area and making an impeccable challenge when isolated one on one in the penalty area. Perhaps not as buccaneering as in the early part of the season but still got an assist under his belt. Much more comfortable at full back than wing back.
CB: Jack Hobbs – 5.5: Mixed afternoon, won some good headers but seemed to find the Wigan attack a handful. Seemed to be harshly penalised for the penalty, however an experienced pro like Hobbs really should have stayed on his feet as Grigg was going away from goal. Diving in gave the referee, who had an extremely poor match, a decision to make.
CB: Mark Beevers – 7.5: The goal at Millwall seems to have given the big man some confidence, giving his best performance for a while in a Bolton shirt. Hardly put a foot wrong by winning his headers, strong in the tackle and covering his centre back partner who didn’t have the best of days. Managed to reduce his classic hoofball tactics and find a white shirt with some passes.
LB: Andrew Taylor – 6.0: A very Andrew Taylor performance, steady and tenacious in defence but limited going forward. The Wigan right back was clearly a weak link and today would have been an ideal day for a pacey attacking full back to take advantage of this, but Taylor just isn’t that type of player.
RM: Craig Noone – 6.0: An improvement on some very poor recent performances. Worked as hard as usual in front of his full back and made some good runs behind the Wigan defence. Decent delivery from set pieces as well. Despite this I’m unconvinced he’s a winger that can ever exactly terrify a full back.
CM: Joe Williams – 6.0: Same effort and bustle as always but seems to overhit passes at crucial moments. Was unlucky with a turn and shot that just drifted wide in the first half. An early needless booking for a lunging challenge, which on another day could have resulted in a red, seemed to curtail Williams naturally combative style.
CM: Jason Lowe – 4.5: This game passed Lowe by but I’m not convinced that is entirely his fault. As far as I can tell Lowe can play one position and that is to sit in front of the back four, break up play and pass simply. The last two games Lowe has been asked to play a more box to box role and he looks extremely awkward, slow both across the ground and in possession. The combination of Lowe and Taylor on the left hand side greatly blunts the attacking threat down this side of the pitch.
LM: Will Buckley – 6.0: Gets a 6 for an excellent control and finish for the goal, but apart from that he did little else of note apart from overhit a cross to Christian Doidge that could have given Bolton a 2 – 0 lead. I do have sympathy for Buckley however, Taylor and Lowe offered little support and Ameobi tended to drift out to the right hand side leaving Buckley often receiving the ball tightly marked with his back to goal.
CAM: Sammy Ameobi – 4.5: Not really convinced Sammy through the middle works, his tricks, flicks and long limbed running style tend to be more effective in wide areas. Not sure if it was Sammys responsibility but Wigan seemed to find it far too easy to carry the ball out of defence into the midfield. Nothing came off for him and could have been hooked earlier than he was.
CF: Christian Doidge – 6.5: Starting to see what convinced Parkinson to sign Doidge. Looked much sharper and ran well behind the Wigan defence whilst also winning his fair share of headers against the centre backs. Second half goal line clearance defied the laws of physics and saved a certain goal for winner which would have likely resulted in another home defeat.
CF: Josh Magennis – 5.5: Put himself about but had little effect. Still would be interested to see if he can form a partnership with Doidge.
LM: Yan Wildschut – N/A: Didn’t have enough time to have much of an effect.