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Player Ratings: Stevenage 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

Three wins on the spin for the Whites!

Stevenage v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Matt Gilks – 7.5

The experienced goalkeeper started his second consecutive league game and was kept relatively quiet in all but the literal definition. Stevenage’s three shots on target were testament to Wanderers’ defensive organisation. An excellent finish in the first half from Tom Pett left Gilks, or any keeper for that matter, with no chance. Substitute Newton forced a routine save from the Bolton goalie in the second half before he pulled out a show stopper of a save to deny the Stevenage goal scorer from doubling his tally and ensuring Wanderers came away with all three points.

Alex Baptiste 8.5

The kind of experienced, professional performance that I hoped we’d see when he re-signed for his second spell at Wanderers. 84 touches, the most on the pitch and won 8 aerial duels. What impressed me most was his attacking intelligence. Not only did he combine well with Kioso on the right wing in the lead up to Doyle’s opener, but his off the ball movement opened up pockets of space for others to move into. That pass to Doyle in the build-up to Crawford’s goal, to kickstart the counter attack, was brilliant. His best performance so far in a Wanderers shirt.

Ricardo Santos 8

Won the vote for the club’s man of the match, but for me was ever so slightly beaten by his experienced teammate. He’s in exceptional form and seemingly can’t put a foot wrong even when his clearances go slightly astray. Again, like Baptiste, his attacking intelligence is so impressive. His forward runs with the ball are great to see, let’s hope one day we’re treated to an attempt on goal from 30/40 yards.

Ryan Delaney – 7

The good display from Taft, arguably Greenidge as well, in the EFL Trophy last week could put pressure on Delaney’s starting place. But, the Irishman can certainly defend. 12 aerial duals won, the most by any player on the pitch; the third most touches of the ball and the highest number of clearances made by a Bolton player. It’s clear that he is a no-nonsense defender and the only time he was beaten was by Oteh in the lead up to Pett’s goal, which was most definitely a foul.

Peter Kioso – 6.5

Excellent partnership both in attack and defence with Baptiste. A fairly quiet second half, largely due to Wanderers sitting back and not being given the space that was allowed to our attacking players in the first 45. A great pass to Sarcevic that lead to Doyle’s goal, which on another day we’d have seen Sarcevic hit the back of the net, unlucky not to get an assist.

Gethin Jones – 7.5

Put in a great shift again in an unfamiliar left wing back role. Provided a clever little lay off to Crawford to assist his goal and seems to have an unlimited tank of energy. Due to his lengthy lay off, could the Scunthorpe game come too soon to play two games in a matter of days? We could see a run out for Mascoll, or at least expect a change to be made during the game.

Andrew Tutte – 6.5

Perhaps not as effective as in recent standout weeks, but more so for the fact that he wasn’t relied upon as much. Against Salford, we saw Tutte’s defensive awareness and reading of the game take centre stage whilst against Stevenage we simply weren’t troubled as much. He kept things ticking over in the middle of the park and certainly makes our midfield a lot more stable and secure.

Antoni Sarcevic – 8

Another brilliant performance from the skipper. His work rate in both boxes is nothing short of superb. His 82 touches of the ball suggests that he is involved in everything. His solitary effort on goal was well kept out by the Stevenage goalkeeper, only for Doyle to acrobatically put the ball in the back of the net. His performance statistics are so well rounded that it shows just how much an influence Sarce has at both ends of the pitch. He chipped in with three tackles, two interceptions and three clearances all of which came in his own box. His heatmap and touch map show an even balance all over the pitch.

Ali Crawford – 7

Boy did he need that goal. I felt like Crawford was a lot more involved in the game on Saturday and his set pieces definitely looked more dangerous, perhaps spurred on by Darcy’s performances when he’s been given game time and the chance to impress? Crawford had the highest pass completion which is a decent achievement considering this would have consisted of both corners and free-kicks. Let’s hope his goal is the key to unlock his potential.

Eoin Doyle – 7.5

My only criticism of him is that he should have probably had a hat trick. Four shots, three of which on target and should have found the net with more than just the one of them. His energy and awareness that lead to Crawford’s goal displays his importance to this team. I’ll put money on him kicking on and getting 20 goals this season, providing his stays fit. His last two games have shown that if we give him chances then he’ll put them away.

Nathan Delfouneso – 6

Struggled to make his mark on the game in my opinion. Only the one dribble with no shots attempted and fewer touches than any player that started the game. I would have been tempted to replace him with Isgrove rather than Miller, to inject some pace and drive, much like we saw Delfouneso do regularly earlier in the season.