A limp first half performance from the Wanderers was counteracted with a storming second half fightback which looked to have given Bolton Wanderers the points in South Yorkshire, only to get caught by the sucker punch at the death. The second half performance must give the Wanderers heart and encouragement to take into the final weeks of the season, particularly what they can do when they play positive football.
Here are the individual player ratings
Ben Alnwick – 4.5
Very poor error for the first goal dropping a routine cross when under little pressure which, after a scramble, ended up in the back of the net. Also guilty of slowing the game down with his kicking long towards ALF and Ameobi in the first half, slight improvement in releasing the ball earlier to the wings in the second half.
Reece Burke – 4.0
The young West Ham loanee is dreadfully lacking in confidence and it is showing in his performances. In his last two starts he has been found wanting physically at the back, combined with overplaying in key areas resulted in a day to forget for Burke. Was hooked at half time as Parky went to a back four.
David Wheater – 5.0
Probably the best of the central defenders, though perhaps not hard. A poor first half performance where he seemed to struggle with the physicality of the Barnsley forward line. Improved in the second half and made some key interceptions as Bolton committed men forward and was unlucky not to score when a second half header was cleared off the line. Still have to look at the big centre backs when both goals come from set pieces.
Mark Beevers – 4.5
Really looks off the pace right now. Struggling with forwards that have any kind of movement and doesn’t seem to be able to impose himself aerially. His lack of ability with his feet seemed even more extreme yesterday. Parky’s defence is the real headache right now.
Mark Little – 5.5
Didn’t manage to affect the game in the wide areas as Bolton struggled for cohesion in the first half and was sacrificed early in the second half for attacking changes. Parky doesn’t seem to trust him as a full back in a back four, but seems to be a far better option than Flanagan on the right side. Should be retained in the team.
Karl Henry – 6.5
Struggled for pace against George Moncur at times, but along with Darren Pratley he got control of the game in the second half. Provided much needed bite in the centre of the park and seems to work well with Pratley.
Darren Pratley – 6.5
Someone pointed out that Pratley and Henry should be our central two and I had my doubts, however the second half performance proved them right. Though they lack creativity, they are the only two players with the physicality, bite and nastiness to impose themselves on opposition midfield. Though I can’t point out exactly what Pratley and Henry did so well, they must take credit for pinning Barnsley back in the second half. Was probably lucky to stay on the park as the referee took a lenient view on what looked like a headbutt in aftermath of the penalty decision.
Antonee Robinson – 7.0
Gave Bolton the desperately needed outlet on the left hand side, always showing willingness to take the ball off the goalkeeper and launch attacks. This was demonstrated in the second half where he managed to run the length of the pitch without a Barnsley player being able to get near him until he got to Barnsley’s penalty area. A better delivery into the box would have given him a higher rating.
Sammy Ameobi – 6.5
Struggled badly with his touch in the first half, seeming to lose the ball at every opportunity. Grew into the game in the second half and seemed to enjoy a free role, where he interchanged well with Buckley and Noone. Still Bolton’s go to magic man and demonstrated this by committing defenders down the right wing and creating the space for the second goal. Need more of his second half performance in the final dogfight.
Filipe Morais – 7.0
His willingness to play in any position was valuable in Parky being able to change the shape to pin Barnsley down. Worked hard to win the ball and launch attacks from the right hand side, full of running until the last. Thought he could have slightly mixed his corners up slightly as he seemed to always sling it to the back post, which didn’t yield any results
Adam Le Fondre – 8.5
His actual performance was probably about a 7, as he provided lots of running and gave the Barnsley defence a lot to think about the second half. However, he gets a significant boost for scoring the most pressurised of pressure penalties. Barnsley players were trying to get in his ear and the resulting scuffle meant ALF had to wait a very long time, but he kept his nerve and drilled the penalty home. Parky asked for a hero and ALF had no hesitation in stepping up to take a penalty that some would have shied away from. You need a goalscorer to stay up, ALF can be our man.
Will Buckley – 7.0
A glimpse of the player he was several years ago for Brighton. Full of positive running and linked well with Robinson in the second half, had the beating of the Barnsley right back in the second half. Was important in changing the momentum of the game into Bolton’s favour.
Craig Noone – 8.0
Unlucky not to start in my opinion, but showed no signs of sulking when called upon in the second half. He drove Bolton forward in the second half, playing the role of ball carrier from back to front, which he combined well with some quality forward passing that has been badly missing in recent weeks. Capped his performance with a goal and fully deserves a run in the team.
Dorian Dervite – N/A
The Wanderers Fans – 10.0
The Wanderers fans deserve a special mention. Despite much of the negativity that seems to whirl around Bolton on social media, the Whites fans stayed firmly behind the boys yesterday. Constant noise even when Bolton were a goal down, the fans roared the players on in the second half, responding to a positive performance that the fans have been demanding. The togetherness and positivity showed by the fans yesterday needs to be maintained until the end of the season.
Parky – 6.0
Didn’t really get it right with a bit of a listless first half performance, I felt he could have encouraged Bolton to be more attacking against a Barnsley team that was always liable to concede goals. Despite this he deserves credit for a strong second half performance and for the changes he made at the right time. In my opinion he needs to stick to a back four and put faith in Robinson and Little in the full back positions. At the moment the defence isn’t capable of grinding out results for Bolton, therefore he must put faith in the more attacking players to provide a threat at the other end.