Bolton Wanderers are perhaps the most difficult team to generate ratings for in the football league. We dominate periods of the game and then shrink away for vast stretches of the others. Today was no exception but I’ll do my best to try and make sense of the Jekyll and Hyde performance.
Matt Gilks - 5
Cheltenham rarely tested the veteran ‘keeper. He made one Hollywood save to tip a header over the bar but he will have to shoulder most of the blame for the goal. Cheltenham got a free header at a corner (- points for Delaney) and headed tamely, right at Gilks. He fumbled. They scored. The goal completely changed the dynamic of the game. Had we simply held we’d probably be looking at 3 points rather than 1.
Gethin Jones - 6 (subbed 63’)
Hooked early in the second half by Evatt after a string of poor crosses but certainly one of the better performers of the 1st half. Wanderers got not end of joy down the right side in the first 45 and Jones was an important part of that. Can count himself unlucky to go off so soon but Brockbank did look more comfortable dealing with an embiggened Cheltenham.
Ricardo Santos - 7
Can’t really fault him. He did everything he had to and more. He was comfortable in possession throughout the game and didn’t let the opposition get any joy in his duels. If we had two Santos’, we’d be alright.
Ryan Delaney - 5
Takes the remainder of the blame for the goal. Lost his man and gave him a free header. Gilks should have done better but he should have faced it in the first place. Lost his man again at another corner which luckily came to nothing. Distribution not as good as his partner which needlessly wasted possession throughout the game. Didn’t do a lot wrong apart from that but I can’t help but feel that this is the wrong system for him.
Ben Jackson - 5.5
It’s a hard ask to slot straight in to a team that you’ve joined 10 minutes previous. He was heavily involved making a significant amount of the total team passes. With that said his accuracy and decision making left a lot to be desired. Cant say I was impressed but he deserves time to settle.
Kieran Lee - 6 (subbed 45’)
Crying shame that the midfielder got injured just before the half time break. He is a cut above everyone else in this league. Picks his passes well and plays at a tempo that really makes him stand out in League 2. Lot less coherent without him in the team.
Antoni Sarcevic - 5
Sarce’ is suffering from a lack of confidence and he needs to be benched for a couple of games. Good when the team played well, a passenger when the team is on the backfoot. Didn’t know he was on the pitch when they were taking the game to us. Really frustrating to watch and I can see the player he could be for us but for now he could do with a week or two out of the limelight.
George Thomasson - 5.5 (subbed 67’)
I can understand why he was recalled but we didn’t see the best of him. Nearly had a goal from outside the box and looked his usual tidy self for most of the match. With that said he gave the ball away in costly areas two or three times in dangerous areas. More clinical teams would punish this.
Lloyd Isgorve - 7
My MOTM. He beat his man every time he had the chance in the first half. What was more impressive was his work rate. On more than one occasion I saw him sprinting the length of the pitch just to pressure a player he had no responsibility to do so.
Eoin Doyle - 6
A frustrating day. Had a handful of good opportunities and probably should have had more than one. He had a couple of decent headed shots courtesy of Isgrove but couldn’t convert. Was clinical for his goal but I can’t help but feel the team is still letting him down by forcing him to come deeper and deeper.
Zach Albouzedi - 5.5 (subbed 62’)
In the same vein to Jackson, it would be harsh to judge the new man so soon after joining. He’s billed as having electric pace but we didn’t see many passes in to space for him to utilise that. His decision making wasn’t the best and his final ball seemed lacking. Can’t see what he offers over Gnahoua at the moment. Needs time to settle in before properly judging him.
Tutte - 6 (on 45’)
Came in and did his usual efficient job. He’d be one of the first names on the team sheet for me. Tackled well. Intercepted well. Passed well. Solid as ever.
Arthur Gnahoua - 7 (on 62’)
Another top showing from the boy who lives down the road. He is so much more direct than anyone else we have. I can see the merit of having him as an impact sub and Evatt’s reasoning of him lacking defensive chops but he’s been the difference in his last two appearances. Can’t ignore that for long. Another assist for a goal we wouldn’t have had without him.
Harry Brockbank - 6 (on 63’)
Finally played in his favourite position and he looked steady. Certainly didn’t cause any issues for the team and looked better going forward than he did on the left.
Ali Crawford - 5.5 (on 67)
I was really hoping we’d see a rejuvenated Crawford after his performance on Tuesday. Alas it wasn’t to be. Passing wasn’t crisp and he didn’t really impact the game. I still have my doubts if he and Sarce’ can fit in to the same team. I think we might get the best from him by freeing up that space the space they both like to occupy.