Bolton Wanderers played out a hard fought draw with Stoke City who often had Jack Butland to thank for keeping the scores level. Stoke started the game by far the strongest, but by the end of the first half Bolton had got right back into the game and were creating chances.
The second half was a far more even affair in which both sides created chances. The defences ended up on top in a match which chould have seen goals, just ask Christian Doidge.
Bolton registered 13 shots against a side with far more resources which makes such a huge change after their turgid run of form. Could something have been changed sooner? Maybe. But at least it has been now and the side look like they can string some results together.
Josh Vela linked up well with Doidge on his return to the side, and with Gary O’Neil likely back in the reckoning soon Wanderers might finally have some options in the middle of the park.
Bolton travel to Hull City on New Years Day looking to string together three results for the first time in what feels like a lifetime. After the FA Cup tie we then travel to Bristol City. Both of those trips offer the possibility of much needed points.
In the meantime, we can enjoy emerging from the relegaton zone as we enter into 2019.