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MOTM: Preston North End 2-2 Bolton Wanderers – Pawel Olkowski

From the Europa League to Cult Hero

1. FC Koeln v Arsenal FC - UEFA Europa League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

After an opening 20 minutes to forget, Wanderers looked to be in for a terrible afternoon. Then something changed, Wanderers started to knock the ball about and keep it on the floor. The right-hand side looked a constant threat for the away side, and it was this partnership that levelled it up going into half time.

In the 38th minute, an inside ball from Pawel Olkowski found Sammy Ameobi around 30 yards from goal. A mistake from Declan Rudd meant that Wanderers were back in the game, thanks to a typical Ameobi effort and the second assist of the season for Olkowski.

It took less than two minutes for Bolton to be back on level terms. After a brilliant passage of football from the Wanderers, the ball fell at the feet of Josh Magennis after a nice pass from Joe WIlliams. Whether it was meant or not, the Northern Ireland international flicked the ball into the path of our dominant full back.

Pawel unleashed a rocket of a strike from the edge of the box, smashing the underside of the crossbar before nestling in the back of the net. This was Olkowski’s first goal in English football and his first goal for little under four years, the last coming for FC Köln in a 4-3 win over Hoffenheim, back in November 2014.

Despite almost having his leg broke in the second half, thanks to a reckless challenge from Daniel Johnson which somehow only warranted a yellow card, Pawel looked dominant in defence and threatening going forward.

He has quickly become a fans’ favourite at the club, and I hope his stay at the Universtity of Bolton Stadium is a long and successful one.

We have a real gem on our hands here.