A fairly solid first half performance, where the boys actually took some fight to the newly-crowned Champions, was completely forgotten about as the Bolton boys failed to appear for the following 45 minutes. Conceding 2 goals despite some very positive attacking play seemed harsh but 2 goals conceded in the 2nd half was a relief after a flat 2nd half. We saw the best and worst of Bolton here, but who was the best and worst in the penultimate home game of the season.
Here are the individual player ratings:
Ben Alnwick - 3.0
Very much an off day for the man who has been Mr. Consistent this season. Arguably 3 of the goals he conceded were down to some fault of his although admittedly one of these is harsh. The first, though it was bobbling from Afobe’s shot, he should have got a much stronger hand to it, seemingly falling in slow-motion to stop it before falling to Douglas. The 2nd was also quite bad. Alnwick came out like he was supposed to but he made himself to small and allowed Afobe to touch it past him too easily because of that. There could also be a case he could have done the same with Jota’s goal but I believe he did everything right there but the chip was well placed. Also can’t blame him for saving a well hit penalty. If Ben’s hitting a dip in form, this is the worst time. Hopefully, he can recover against Burton.
Jon Flanagan - 3.5
Why he played today instead of Little, I have no idea. Barring some better passing play in the first half compared to previous games, he was poor again. Douglas got past him quite regularly and was no where to be seen for the first goal with Morais taking on the defensive mantle as he was jogging back. Even worse was that he completely abandoned Jota for the third after letting Costa’s pass easily pass him with some poor marking. We must have some clause in his loan deal that means he has to play otherwise, leave him as a benchwarmer at best.
David Wheater - 4.0
I can’t give him any higher due to the scoreline but did make some good blocks, notably stopping Afobe from making it 4 before the stupid decision to give a penalty. Passing was somewhat better as well as he found teammates more often than not. However, he simply couldn’t keep up with the pace of Wolves play and Afobe had his number quite often. Looked deflated after the 2nd goal but nothing bar perhaps the 2nd goal was his fault.
Mark Beevers - 4.0
Mostly copy paste Wheater’s analysis but he was slightly guiltier for Afobe’s goal with the former Bolton loanee racing past him for the goal. Probably could have also made better contact with his header in the first half to possibly change the game when it was at 1-0. Either way, not his worst performance of the season but still below par.
Antonee Robinson - 4.0
Our best outlet to carry the ball forward to attack from defence. The lad never stopped running and had linked well with Sammy and Buckley at points. However, inexperience shone when he was found out regularly by Helder Costa and was dragged out of position for the Wolves players to beat him on the dribble. Giving up the chase for the 3rd goal as well showed just how hard a time he had with the winger. Very tough day for the young yank.
Karl Henry - 4.0
Struggled massively against his former employers. Midfield had the runaround him often and couldn’t get in to tackle and bully the fitter and pacier midfield Wolves had. Did concede the penalty as well but I won’t mark him down for it as I believe it to be a harsh decision at best. Been struggling a fair bit in recent games. Maybe a case to drop him?
Darren Pratley - 4.0
The captain struggled just as much as Henry and seemed to tire quicker than usual as well. Not surprising since he’s always brought back from injury early and never stops putting the effort in. Like Henry, the Wolves midfield had him wrapped around their fingers and used his never-say-die attitude to exploit huge gaps in the midfield. Subbed for Vela which was probably fair.
Filipe Morais - 5.5
Best of a bad bunch. Worked hard regardless of where he was and tried his best to cover for both full-backs. His crosses and set-pieces threatened the Wolves defence early on and a more confident front-line might have put them away. Even beat the Wolves full backs on a couple of occasions. Seemed strange when he started instead of Noone but justified his place by possibly being Bolton’s only threatening player on the day. Also didn’t let his head drop all day which I appreciate.
Sammy Ameobi - 4.5
He just isn’t built to be a target man despite his height arguing otherwise. He’s suffered massively with our lack of any other target man. Didn’t win a header all day and despite some good covering, didn’t have any real impact on the game. A couple good runs and link up play with Robinson and Morais was all his first half consisted of. Completely anonymous in the 2nd half. Another tough day at the office for Sammy.
Will Buckley - 4.0
Struggled to get into the game. The Wolves defence stopped him from doing anything significant. Won a couple free-kicks but that was the extent of his impact. Did come to help Robinson with defensive duties on occasion in the 1st half but completely abandoned that job in the 2nd half before being rightly replaced for Noone. Not been a good season for William.
Adam Le Fondre - 5.0
Completely isolated again despite having Sammy to play alongside yesterday. Still tried to chase the ball to get anything happening but couldn’t get the chance to make an attack happen himself. Understandably frustrated by the lack of service as he walked off the pitch. Clearly still cares, which is a positive sign but can’t do it on his own up front at this current time.
Josh Vela - 5.0
Game had gone by the time he came on. Still battled which shows he does still have some fight in him after some lacklustre performances and kept up better with the pace of the Wolves midfield. Ultimately though, failed to affect the game.
Craig Noone - 4.5
Came on right after the penalty so game was well and truly gone by that point. Couldn’t get anything going with the Wolves back-line stopping him from cutting in on his favoured left foot. Still deserves his chance to start from the off though.
Zach Clough - 5.0
Pretty sure he only touched the ball about 3 times. Was never going to inspire even a consolation with such a deflated team so late in the day. Unless something happens at Burton, this return looks to have been a waste of time for both Zach and Bolton, which is sad to see.