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Immediate Reaction: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Harrogate Town

Back to winning ways

Bolton Wanderers v Harrogate Town - Sky Bet League Two Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Well, from the depths of despair to joyous elation at full-time, Wanderers served up a display that allowed us the full spectrum of emotions today.

The other results have gone for us, as Morecambe are currently losing at Port Vale with five minutes to go as I’m writing this, after a 45 minute delay for snow, yes snow, in mid-April. So after Forest Green’s loss at the Bescot and Tranmere’s failure to win at Glanford Park (g’wan Coxy!) we sit two points clear in third and with things very much in our own hands.

The absolute abomination of that first-half showing cannot be simply wrote off, though, despite the win. The Sulphurites looked switched on, confident and decisive from the first minute, while we were ponderous, indecisive and lacking confidence and purpose, losing all our battles. In fairness everything they tried seemed to come off but they had invention and a real incisiveness to their play.

The second half was a million times better, it had to be. The substitution of Marcus Maddison at the break was a no-brainer for me and although I want him to do well for us, we simply cannot shoehorn him into this side as it is to the detriment of the unit as a whole. George Thomason’s display epitomised everything I want to see from a man in a white shirt, with his pressing forcing Will Smith into the error that Eoin Doyle capitalised on with aplomb to net the huge winner for the Whites.

I’ve never seen a team win so many headers, a stat that was picked up on by many prior to this encounter. I’m sick of seeing long throws hurled towards our box in this league but my god is it a good tactic and scared the life out of me, especially after 76 year-old Jon Stead entered the fray. To be fair, he won everything and brought his teammates into play brilliantly when they weren’t looking skywards at the ball. Alas we got through the bombardment to secure an absolutely vital, if undeserved, three points.

A lot to digest and deliberate on for Evatt as we head to the Peninsula on Tuesday evening, as Salford’s late play-off charge unfortunately gathered momentum with a narrow 2-1 win over Stevenage.

A huge game and another huge performance needed. Make no mistake, we got away with one today.