Daryl Murphy’s last-minute goal made it 3 league wins from 3 for Bolton, with the Irish forward not only redeeming himself after a penalty miss but also scoring for the third game in a row.
Let’s get straight into it, the player ratings, and I know which one you’ve come here to see…
Remi Matthews 7
Distribution very poor but otherwise another solid display with the save from Joe Mason in the first half crucial. Also saved from Alex Gilbey just after we scored to ensure we kept the points in hand. Undisputed Number One.
Josh Emmanuel 8
Best right-back we have had since Sam Ricketts, so calm on the ball and key to us getting up the pitch with his running and passing skills. A solid defender too, Emmanuel again was strong and robust and you never worry about him being done for pace. One of the best signings we have made in years.
Jake Wright 7
Thought he read the game very well and made some timely interventions. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to have a centre-half with experience in the team compared to seeing either Adam Senior or Yoan Zouma there. Those boys have potential, but Wright just knows what he’s doing and does it without fuss. Looks slightly susceptible to more pacy players but at 33 that’s no surprise.
Josh Earl 7
He looks a real find does Earl with his combination of height and pace he’s a physical match for anyone. He also has that unteachable knack for getting in the way of shots that is crucial at this level but on the ball he’s also very competent. It’s nice to see a mixture like this in a defender. Still young and does make some errors due to inexperience but should be a very useful player for us nonetheless.
Adam Chicksen 8
Fantastic, again. Never stops running and always looking to get us forward. Without him in the team we’d struggle to get attacks going whilst playing on the floor as he’s always available for a pass. Defensively solid if unspectacular, it was overall a pleasure to watch him play.
Liam Bridcutt 5
I just don’t see what you like about him, folks. He looks to have won everyone over, including the players, which is impressive and probably positive for the team seeing as they seem to really believe in him. However, he gives the ball away too cheaply, often losing it in bad areas by trying something too fancy and seems to fade out of games by playing too deep to affect play. When Jason Lowe and Luke Murphy outshine you it’s not a good look. All I’ve seen people say in his defence are non-statements such as “he makes us tick”, “he keeps the team in check” and “he has a real presence”. I understand the role he is supposed to perform but I don’t think he does it well. If your role is to collect the ball and pass it forward to start attacks you need to be a better passer. Bridcutt is a perhaps a good footballer but he isn’t effective. Effective is Lowe intercepting passes 10 times a game or Murphy setting up our winner and forcing saves out of the keeper. Bridcutt isn’t good at what he’s meant to be good at. But he’s got you all fooled so don’t mind me.
Jason Lowe 7
Covers every blade of grass and looks good whilst doing it. Won the ball back countless times and halted any Dons progress by marking their key men in Gilbey and Ben Reeves. Had a good shot blocked too, when he scores the town will explode.
Luke Murphy 8
He’s starting to finally show us what he can do. The assist for the winner was exceptional but his all-round game was the real joy to watch. Could easily have had a goal himself with his long-range effort that was spectacularly saved by Lee Nichols and his passing was fantastic. A really effective performance and long may it continue.
Joe Dodoo 5
Not great and was withdrawn early in the second half. He blows hot and cold and we are going to see performances like this from him. He’s working his way up to full steam and just had a bad day at the office I think.
Chris O’Grady 5
Very leggy performance where everything he did looked like it was happening in slow motion. Being asked to do a job out-wide where he just isn’t comfortable and shouldn’t play there again. As backup for Daryl Murphy he’ll be fine but I wouldn’t have him starting.
Daryl Murphy 6
He wasn’t great and the penalty miss was atrocious, but he scored the winner and has 3 in 3. Finally, we have that striker who can be consistent for us in front of goal! Stay off the pens, Daryl, and focus on other things and you’ll hit 15 goals this year for sure.
Thibaud Verlinden 8
Changed the game. His pace and trickery scared Dons stiff and George William’s outburst that saw him sent off was a build up of frustration at being torn to shreds by the young Belgian. Final ball/end product needs work but we look so much better when he plays. You just know those muppets at Stoke are going to take him from us
Dennis Politic N/A