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FA Cup Ratings: Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Walsall

A win is a win, but there’s more to it than that

West Bromwich Albion v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Let’s get straight to it as we discuss Bolton Wanderers’ win over Walsall in the FA Cup:

Ben Alnwick - 6

Couple of standard saves and some efficient distribution. A quiet game despite conceding twice.

Pavel Olkowski - first half 4, second half 5

Still looks off the boil but was much improved as the second half wore on.

David Wheater - first half 4, second half 5

Suffered against a mobile Walsall attack, and was led a merry dance throughout by Ismail and Cook though in the second half he at least had less defending to do because we attacked a bit.

Mark Beevers - first half 3, second half 5

Didn’t even get off the ground when Cook rose to put Walsall in the lead but as with Wheater he wasn’t troubled quite as much in the second half. No blame attached to him for the freak deflection for their second. Warmed up in gloves, which was disappointing and earns him a low mark.

Jonathan Grounds - first half 4, second half 5

Another who was appalling in the first half but who came back somewhat in the second half. Would expect he’ll go back to being second pick once Taylor comes back. Urgh.

Luke Murphy - first half 7, second half 6

Showed exactly what we've been missing during a first half full of energy and commitment. Could've done better with his headed chance but this was very promising.

Jason Lowe - first half 4, second half 5ish

Back in midfield and showed just why he’s so poor in the position in the first half. As the game developed he did get slightly better but I think that’s not really much to shout about.

Josh Vela - first half 4, second half N/A

Completely anonymous. Didn’t even notice he’d been subbed he was that bad. Deserves to be dropped again - fans can’t clamour for his inclusion when he puts in a showing like this, he simply cannot give the side what it needs.

Yanic Wilschut - first half 4, second half N/A

Injury spoiled his afternoon but he hasn't done much up until then anyway.

Craig Noone - first half 4, second half 6

Shocking as usual in the first half but much improved as the game wore on. Assists aren’t a barometer of performance in my book because there’s no context behind most of them but the quality of his final ball was much improved in the second half, which makes a nice change.

Josh Magennis - first half 4, second half 8

Really struggled early on but was excellent with the introduction of Donaldson at HT. Took his chances well and will therefore 100% be dropped by the time we line up for the next match.


Clayton Donaldson - 8

Changed the game for me. Scored his first goal and allowed Magennis to have someone to share the load. Well played.

Will Buckley - 5

Anonymous as usual.

Luca Connell - 6

Only had a couple of minutes but after the shit week we've had this was heartwarming.

Let's hope he's as good as we've been told.


Phil Parkinson - 4

Started with his customary negative line-up but had no choice to change it up at half time. I’m loathe to give him credit for that as he almost literally had no choice but to do it. However, we won and that’s the main thing.