I feel I should start this by acknowledging that Declan John was caught out for Mansfield Town’s second goal. Along with Alex Baptiste it was made too easy for the home side. Maybe John knew he was at fault and it spurred him on?
He was already one of the better players on the pitch down the left flank. Along with Kieran Lee he was a continuing bright spark in a Bolton Wanderers side struggling to find any real rhythm.
In the first half he managed to find himself in a similar position to the one he scored from in Bolton’s last outing. This time a defender managed a partial block before Marcus Maddison somehow got to the ball before the goalkeeping and also somehow missed the target.
The signs were there that he could make the necessary impact going forward again when he pulled the trigger for the opening goal. I am going to declare it as a shot, but rather like Henrik Pedersen all those years ago against Newcastle United I think we all know the reality. Either way it was a beautiful looping finish into the far top corner of the goal.
Suddenly a Bolton side who were down and out were back in the game. John was the man on corner duties. The initial ball did not hit the mark bit came back to him. The second cross was brilliant leaving the Mansfield player to turn it home. Had he not, there was a Bolton player ready and waiting.
A goal and an assist to drag Bolton, almost kicking and screaming, back into the match. A lot has been made of the new wingers and attacking midfielders picked up last month, who would have guessed it would be a left back creating all the goals?