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TALKING POINTS: What we learned from Wanderers' 1-0 victory against Bradford

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Wanderers registered their first home win of the season on Tuesday night as Nathan Delfouneso's goal and Billy Crellin's penalty save secured the headlines at the University of Bolton Stadium.

But what did we learn on the night that we didn't know before?

Here, we examine five of the top talking points.


So much hot air and so many type strokes had been expended discussing the morality of Ian Evatt’s post-match comments on Billy Crellin, it all rather overlooked the fact the young goalkeeper’s form has not been up to scratch.

And while his penalty save earned some positive headlines, almost vindicating Evatt’s decision to voice his displeasure in public on Saturday, there were also elements of the 20-year-old’s performance that still require improvement.

Had a couple of rushes of blood been punished the narrative of the game might not have been so straightforward for Wanderers. But on this occasion, it is probably best put to bed quickly, with the hope he will continue to improve this weekend at Leyton Orient.


So many times this season we have been Bolton pass laterally, or go back to the goalkeeper, when there were no valid targets ahead of them. And though there will be occasions when that is perfectly acceptable, the movement between the front ‘seven’ had to improve if Evatt’s brand of football was to be successful.

In the first half, there is no question that we came close to seeing the manager’s vision unfold.

Wanderers were first to every loose pass, pressed well and passed with a tempo and crispness, leaving Bradford struggled to cope.

Perhaps it was fatigue but that speed slowed after half time and Bradford were able to force themselves into the game.

Crellin’s penalty save turned the mentality of the game in Bolton’s favour and it may well be a moment that we look back on as one that Wanderers’ fortunes started to change.


Ali Crawford was sensational in the first half and had he put one of five shots into the back of the net, he would have romped home in most people’s man of the match verdict.

The Scot is definitely starting to look the part in this system and it is surely only a matter of time before one of those right-footed curling shots nestles into he top bin. Hopefully.


There was a time when Ryan Delaney did not look like he fit into Evatt’s plans. But it would be a surprise now if he wasn’t one of the first names on the team-sheet.

He bailed Wanderers out on a couple of occasions against Bradford with his no-nonsense defending and has added a touch of steel to the team since he came back into the starting line-up.

He even popped up on the left wing in the second half!

The Irish defender is starting to get a decent rep among the Bolton supporters, who appreciate his old-fashioned defensive values.


Eoin Doyle is out for the next three or four weeks, so that means Arthur Gnahoua is likely to get a start at Leyton Orient on Saturday.

The former Macc Town man has made a decent start to his Wanderers career and though he has yet to get off the mark, his unselfishness on the ball and willing running has been good to watch.

Evatt did not name a recognised striker on his bench against Bradford, so it stood to reason that Gnahoua played 90 minutes, but with Shaun Miller on the comeback trail and Muhammadu Faal also back in training, there could be a few more striker options on the horizon.

Lloyd Isgrove’s impending return may also give Evatt some options in attack.

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