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Bolton Wanderers fan's view: It would have been great to join Carlisle supporters

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Following a restricted but still welcome Christmas Day with our immediate loved ones, it was time to turn our thoughts back to football on Boxing Day, traditionally the day for the biggest crowds of the season.

Full of Christmas spirit and not a little Christmas dinner, we should have been heading north to face the Cumbrians, but we had to settle for iFollow and watch 2,000 lucky Carlisle fans, frozen to the marrow, battered by Storm Bella.

The mood amongst the Wanderers fans was surprisingly confident that we could get something against a team that had won eight of their last nine home matches, while we had lost three of our last four matches.

I have always said that you should not be a Wanderers fan if you are not optimistic.

Ian Evatt welcomed back Andrew Tutte and Peter Kioso for what would undoubtedly be a tough, physical match. Would we be up for it?

The early answer was no, as we were completely blown away by the 70mph gales and Carlisle’s direct play. Two goals down after seven minutes gave us a feeling of déjà vu, when playing teams in the wilds of Cumbria.

It got worse as we could hardly get out of our own half and they added a third.

Then just before half-time, in a rare foray forward, young George Thomason pegged one back to give us a glimmer of hope.

We slowly got back into the game in the second half with the wind at our backs but in fairness, Carlisle seemed to be handing the conditions better until a brilliant one-on-one save from Matt Gilks and we went down the other end for Nathan Delfouneso to set up a grandstand finish.

Peter Kioso headed the equaliser and both teams hit the woodwork in the final minutes.

What a game! What a finish! It is such a shame that we could not have been there, wrapped up like Eskimos, cheering the lads on.

Once again, we showed great character, which we need to build on and overcome our consistent inconsistency, as Ian Evatt puts it.

We have had some good results, raising our hopes for the season, only to have them dashed by subsequent downright awful performances.

It has never been easy being a Bolton fan, as we have had to fight for every success.

But would I want it any other way? Definitely not.

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