In the opening stages there was very little in this match, Bolton Wanderers were perhaps edging play, but maybe that was just my bias view on proceedings. But after a mere seven minutes though the deadlock was broken, and the ease of this was a warning which was not properly heeded by the visitors.
The Lincoln player brought himself half a yard down the right and put in an admittedly good ball. Makeshift left back number one in the form of Liam Edwards was caught slightly out of position, but coming back from an injury lay off and playing an unfamiliar role this is not unsurprising. 1-0 Lincoln and not a lot of effort on their part, which will become something of a theme.
The rest of the first half sort of drifted by and as it did Bolton’s play seemed to become more and more disjointed and by the end of the half it was difficult work out precisely what Bolton were trying to do with that odd round thing they were kicking about. On that basis, it was fair to say that half time was desperately needed for the visitors to regroup.
As half time came and went Yoan Zouma, who picked up a knock in the first half, gave way for Chris O’Grady. At this point makeshift left back number two Ethan Hamilton dropped into defence with Edwards shifting to his more familiar central defensive berth.
Wanderers started the half strongly, finally seeming to have found a little rhythm. This is where the breakthrough came. Daryl Murphy chested the ball down perfectly to Ronan Darcy in the D who smashed home a brilliant goal first time. His first league goal for Bolton, and possibly his first professional strike though I lose track.
Suddenly Bolton appeared to be in the ascendancy. Darcy looked to turn provider with a couple of wicked corners, which looked to be more shots than corses by with the unpredictable wind risked causing chaos. Dennis Politic then collected the ball on the edge of the box and hit a well struck shot just over the bar. It was starting to look like a matter of when and not if Bolton would grab a second, but then the game turned on its head.
A quick break from Lincoln saw some striker whose name I recognise for some reason bend the ball past Remi Matthews from outside the box. A great finish but the striker was afforded far too much space. Considering that this was the second central defensive pairing of the night I will not criticise those in the Bolton defence.
Bolton still looked like they could stay in the game for a short period after this. Darcy played a peach of a cross field ball to Politic who hit a carbon copy of his earlier shot over the bar. Could he have passed on this occasion, I think so.
Bolton then shuffled the deck again and on came makeshift left back number three in the form of returning Harry Brockbank. Such defensive shuffling is rarely a good thing between matches, let-alone during one, and well hindsight is a wonderful thing I guess.
Suddenly it is 3-1 Lincoln. A laughable goal line clearance from Josh Emmanuel saw the ball fly into the side netting rather than clear, or at least I think this is how that one happened but the next few minutes become something of a forgettable blur, and not the Brit Pop variety.
Within minutes of the ball hitting the net for three Lincoln were 4-1 up. A quick break from midfield for one of the easiest goals you will see. After that, before you had a chance to fully express in words how much of a shambles Bolton had become, it was 5-1 and the embarrassment was complete.
Bolton did manage some promising play during this match but the overall performance was entirely rudderless. In all reality the home side seemed to have to do very little to over come Bolton by a commanding score line. Though it is difficult with injuries and loans ending, it is incredibly concerning to see Wanderers returning to the type of score line which characterised the start of what is shaping up to be the worst season in the clubs, at least recent, history. And that is saying quite something isn’t it.