Yesterday I made my way to the UniBol free from expectations of a positive result, but still with a somewhat childish and positive attitude. The stadium and Sir Nat’s Statue were basking in glorious sunshine, creating a positive vibe around the place. I must admit though, even though my fitness levels are hardly comparable with the professionals, I was feeling the heat and couldn’t help but wonder if it would be detrimental to our young lads, already at high risk of fatigue.
Lineups announced and the main thing I noticed was Brown-Sterling making his first start up top after his cameo against Tranmere last weekend. I can’t say I thought too much of it however, with our current situation providing more of a run-out for strikers than real goalscoring opportunity.
Taking my seat I couldn’t help but notice how bare the stands were. Coventry seems like a long time ago now, and I was really disappointed that around 4000 home fans seemed to have deserted since that heroic performance. I have no bad words for those who did show up, with most trying to get behind the lads.
On to the game. It became evident to me very early on that this would be a much sterner test even than the previous few games. Despite the heavy scoreline last weekend, Wanderers had still had several impressive passages of possession, the talents of Ronan Darcy and co on show for all to see in the middle of the park. This was different however, with Ipswich suffocating much of our creativity in the middle and dominating most of the game. Bolton’s best offensive outlet to my mind was King-Harmes, his running and persistence proving a constant worry for the Tractor Boys’ backline. A clear-cut chance for a goal still proved illusive, however. Perhaps our best chance came when awarded a free-kick in dangerous territory, but unfortunately Weir didn’t come quite as close as against Tranmere. To be quite honest I can’t remember too much about the Ipswich goals, other than that most of them seemed to come from nothing.
A young team shown up by the ball moving from middle of the park to back of the net within a matter of seconds and with relative ease. Big respect to Remi Matthews yesterday, pulling off several very smart saves to prevent a more embarrassing outcome.
A few after-thoughts. Whilst I have the utmost respect for the task our young Whites are facing and have no bad words for them, this was really, really hard to watch. The lads need help. We need reinforcements. I already heard chants of ‘League 2 tour’ from some sections of the crowd today, and I don’t blame them. We’re getting over run on the pitch, and it could be a lot worse than League 2 off the pitch if takeover talks aren’t progressed by 5pm Tuesday.