It really was hard to find many positives after coming away beaten by a scoreline such as that. If the game had ended on 85 minutes, I would have thought we were hard done by and accepted a 2-1 defeat. But, of course that wasn't the case.
Three minutes prior to Lincoln’s 3rd goal went in, before the onslaught began, a knackered Ronan Darcy made way for Harry Brockbank and the fifth positional change of the evening was implemented. We don’t need to talk about what happened after that. Tom summed it up quite brilliantly in his Player Ratings article, I thoroughly recommended - especially the final section.
I digress, Ronan Darcy has been arguably one of Bolton’s better players of the season thus far, along with Adam Chicksen (but we won’t go there either).
Just two minutes into the second half, the youngster got on the end of a superb Daryl Murphy knock down to fire Wanderers level. A fantastic strike from the edge of the box into the bottom left hand corner. We’ve all known he’s capable of finishing like that, but nice to see the net bulge for the academy graduate for the first time in the league this season.
Hopefully, his maiden league goal will spur him on and we’ll see a flood of goals from Wanderers most creative player.
The return of Jason Lowe this weekend will see Darcy be able to occupy the #10 role that suits him so well for the entirety of the game. Rather than be deployed as a deeper midfielder like he has been in recent weeks every time we make a substitution. With Lowe, Hamilton and Murphy all in the fold for the deeper role, it will give Darcy the freedom to play his own, energetic game.
Although this Lincoln game may not have been Darcy’s best game for the club, he still gets the MOTM award as it was his goal that gave us hope for 15 minutes or so.
On to the next one. Roll on Saturday....