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Five Things: Salford City 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

Salford were unbeaten at home all season. They WERE

Salford City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Paul Greenwood - CameraSport via Getty Images

Helios with the assist

Eoin Doyle may have failed to take his chances in front of goal but that doesn’t mean he didn’t play his part in the victory. Having won the coin toss before the match captain Doyle decided to swap ends with the home side. In doing so it forced Salford to play with the sun in their eyes which caused havoc. There were at least 2 clear chances before the goal that we can thank nuclear fusion for and Vaclav Hladky’s kicking was well off as a result.

When these chances were squandered an unsettling feeling began to creep in that we’d live to regret it. This was increasingly amplified the closer we got to half-time, knowing the advantage would be gone completely in the second half. Yet it was the most unlikely of chances that ultimately went in: A tame, slow, cross-cum-shot from Lloyd Isgrove that nestled in to the bottom corner. Whilst Hladky was unsighted by two of his defenders replays show unequivocally that the sun played its part in blinding the keeper until it was too late.

So there you have it, Helios (Sol if you’re Roman or Ra if you’re Egyptian), is a massive Wanderers fan.

Those Subs? Tutte, Tutte

Ian Evatt stated a while ago he liked to use his substitutions to bring attacking players on to protect a lead rather than the more conventional defensive alternative. His logic is simple and salient; attackers will pose a risk and occupy the opposition and stop a siege caused by a team free to push higher and higher up. I agree with him and I’ve not unhappy at this policy this season. It’s clearly paying dividends when you look how competent we are at protecting a 1-0 win.

With that said we had three central midfielders who ran themselves in to the ground yesterday. George Thomason and Kieran Lee were up and down like a green snake in a sugar cane field and MJ Williams was constantly tracking runners and filling in the gaps. Salford brought on fresh legs early on and by the 70th minutes this was telling. Gaps were opening up in the middle of the park which enabled Salford to maintain their decent second half showing until full time. Whilst the defenders dealt with this pressure manfully it was obvious that some fresh legs in the middle of the park would have stopped Salford from being able to operate quite so easily.

Keeping the likes of Thomason on, who looked like he was going to collapse at the final whistle seems ridiculous when we have substitutions to spare and decent players to slot in. Tutte seemed like a no brainer here and would have made that last 20 a bit easier than it was.

The run in

The second the final whistle went I was immediately checking the scores elsewhere as I’m sure most of you did. Tranmere slipping up against Walsall and Morecambe smashing Scunthorpe has left us with a 4 point cushion in the automatics with 5 games to play. Tempting though it is to look at those fixtures to see who has the easiest run in, it’s pointless to do so. It’s pointless because we have that 4 point cushion. It’s entirely in our hands. All we have to do is take care of our own business and it won’t matter what anyone else does.

So tempting as it is to look ahead to the game with Morecambe in 10 days or so, we should look no further ahead than Grimsby on Saturday. That’s our cup final. That’s our biggest game of the season.

“Veni, vidi, vici” - George Thomason

What a gem this lad is. Great passing ability, decent with the ball at his feet, bags of effort and he’s still so young. I must admit I was surprised when Ian Evatt initially started trumpeting his cause as I hadn’t expected that much from a teenager signed from Longridge Town (no offence to them). Since his introduction he has gotten better every time and I don’t half feel foolish for doubting him. The more nuanced aspects of the game that only come with experience are starting to embed themselves in to his game but this hasn’t damped his enthusiasm and intensity.

Whilst we have dearly missed Antoni Sarcevic since his injury, Thomason has has done well enough to allow us the time of re-introducing the captain off the bench as apposed to needing to start him as soon as he’s fit. In short he looks like he has the potential to be a very well rounded midfielder and one that could go very far in the game. I dearly hope its with Bolton Wanderers.

How I love this club

How great is it at the moment? I found myself scratching around after the win desperately looking for more content, more opinions more...Bolton. I’m gutted that I have to wait until Saturday to see another match.

The last few years were almost enough to make me forget what is was like to enjoy love football for the football rather than just being happy we paid a bill on time or fretting about a looming debts and crap owners. Every win seems all the sweeter knowing that we’re being managed by a competent, savvy and likeable team precisely because I can just enjoy the win. There’s a buzz around this place at the moment and it’s a special thing.

So I say thank you to all most who share your thoughts on Twitter. Thank you to all the other blogs (especially the analysis one, loving that). Thank you to the professional journalists. Thank you to the players, management, owners, sons of owners and everyone in between. You’re all making it a wonderful club to follow at the moment and there’s not many times I could say that over the last decade.