Some of the surveys produced for the last decade make depressing reading, confirming things like just how bad an away team we have been. The reports from last year show just how horrendous it was, when reminded about winding-up orders in court, unpaid wages, unpaid bills, players' strikes (not on the pitch unfortunately), food banks, relegation, administration, points deductions and the decimation of our playing squad.
But we are still in business and my heartfelt thanks go to Football Ventures for that and to all the other people who stood by Bolton Wanderers when it was needed.
We faced Burton Albion, a team we have never scored against, never mind got a point from. The squad was even more stretched than usual with Liam Bridcutt and Jason Lowe out for different reasons. Incredibly Nigel Clough was still whinging about how unfair it was that Burton couldn’t face the youngsters and rack up a big win. It really is time that other clubs should be told to mind their own business.
Keith Hill chose to bring in Adam Chicksen and Paul Weir to fill the gaps and we got off to an incredible start with two great goals from Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy in the first 10 minutes. I don’t know who was more stunned, the Burton team or the Bolton fans.
It was good while it lasted, which wasn’t long as Burton fought back to take the lead just before half time. In response, we adopted the 10 men strategy for the second time in two home matches as Liam Murphy got a second yellow card. It might get the crowd behind you but it doesn’t usually work.
What is really disappointing is that two experienced players have got themselves sent off needlessly. But we gave it a go and Dennis Politic had one disallowed before Burton caught us again and then he pulled one back from the edge of the box.
We can be proud of the effort again if not the result.
We have a break this weekend which should help with the injuries but not the suspensions. We’re also in the first mid-season transfer window under our new regime, so it should be interesting to see what, if any, business can be done.