Bolton Wanderers dominated much of this match. Such was their first half dominance that approaching statistical parity in the second half was a massive turn around for the visitors. After a strong display, there are a number of good ratings to be dished out.
Matt Gilks - 5.5
Gilks’ distribution was far better than previous performances which really helped Bolton dominate possession, particularly in the first half where Bolton had 75% possession. A well placed kick helped to kick start the move for the second goal showing the importance of good distribution.
Gilks was otherwise mainly untroubled and was probably heading for a 7 when he was caught in no man’s land on the edge of the box. Luckily Alex Baptiste was on hand to bail his keeper out.
He probably just about did enough for me not to call for him to be dropped this week, but he did ride his luck with that one.
Gethin Jones - 7
Something of a Mr Reliable. He hardly put a foot wrong and I recall one particularly good ball into the box which Eoin Doyle nearly reached. With Declan John marauding down the other flank and Ricardo Santos and Baptiste joining the attack there is nothing wrong with a steady Eddie in there. More of the same please.
Ricardo Santos - 9
The man was immense. My notes read strong and composed Santos which probably sums up his display. At the moment he just seems to get to everything, he knows when to then play and when to simply get rid. In addition, he put in some brilliant challenges, one near the end of the game standing out.
It is incredible to think back to his rocky start at the club. The mans character is insane, long may it continue.
Alex Baptiste - 9
Solid as a rock along side Santos. He was simply brilliant, with his defensive display topped off with a wonderful goal line clearance. The one blot on his copy book being one too many passes on the edge of the Scunthrope United box. I will forgive my centre back that though.
Declan John - 8
John’s one touch play at the beginning of the game was nothing short of outstanding. He had a couple of wobbles within the 90 minutes and got himself booked for a silly and rash challenge. It is a shame he did not make good contact with his one opening to add to his goal tally, but he continues to be a brilliant outlet on the left and was constantly in acres of space for George Thomason to pick out.
MJ Williams - 8
It seems like Williams is starting to find his feet after not getting much first team football in the first half of the season. His passing range and accuracy seems to be improving and his ability to be in the right place at the right time is unnerving.
He would have had a score up there with Santos and Baptiste from me were it not for one odd moment in the second half where he manage to give the ball away as the last man. Scunthorpe could not capitalise, but we are winning games by the odd goal so need to cut needless mistakes out.
George Thomason - 6
One of the commentary team was tempted to make Thomason man of the match, which made me wonder whether he was watching one of the matches from a couple of weeks ago when he was brilliant.
In this game though I was disappointed with the youngster. He was maybe trying too hard to find the killer pass. Don’t get me wrong, there were some glorious balls in there, but I felt his overall display was a little sloppy.
He gets a bonus point for some Ivan Campo esc time wasting followed by lying on the ball after giving away a free kick for hand ball. Wonderful stuff. I was though a little concerned he would go and get himself another yellow.
Lloyd Isgrove - 7
Isgrove had a relatively forgettable game in the most part. That is not meant to be a critical as it comes across as it also means I did not note much he was doing wrong.
He did though come to life at the right moment. After receiving the ball from Antoni Sarcevic he scampered down the line and cut it back perfectly for the captain to smash home. 2-0 and game over, which is exactly what you need from an attacker.
Nathan Delfouneso - 6
Apart from diving to win a free kick I cannot remember all that much Delfouneso did to affect the game. Playing in that central role he really did need to have more of an impact.
My one real memory beyond the free kick winning antics was him losing the ball cheaply leading to Doyle giving away a rather rash tactical foul. More is needed if he is to stay in the middle of the park.
Oladapo Afolayan - 6
In the most part it just did not come off for Afolayan on the night. His free kick hit the wall, his tricks and passes tended to end in losing possession, he ran the ball out of play and made a poor decision to shoot with others around him on the break.
He did put in a brilliant cross which Doyle could not quite get out of his feet and there was a spell where he grew into the game, but not enough to change my view. Like Thomason, he will have better days.
Eoin Doyle - 7
I think Doyle will have been a far happier man following this game than others recently. There seemed to be far more effective service coming into him and on another day he would have grabbed one from open play where the ball did not quite drop for him.
After something of a barren patch by his high standards a brilliantly taken penalty will hopefully restore any lost confidence.
Sub 1: Antoni Sarcevic - 8.5
I though Sarce was outstanding following his introduction and should be knocking on the managers door and asking why his is not starting in that central attacking role behind Doyle. His build up play, positioning and finish for his goal were all outstanding and he dictated play brilliantly following his introduction.
The turn of pace he showed to leave the defender for dust down the line was incredible. More of the same please.
Sub 2: Shaun Miller - 6
He did not really have enough time to affect the game and no particular involvement stood out to me. I did though enjoy his failed attempt to emulate Thomason and catch the ball after falling over.
Sub 3: Marcus Maddison - 7
Maddison also did not really have time to make an impact on the game. He was able to product one brilliant through ball which ended in a Bolton player blocking a team mates shot it appeared. I would like to see Maddison given longer to make an impact if starting on the bench.