Posted by Admin - Thu 2nd November 2017 4.18PM
By William Kirkpatrick
After a terrible September in which Bolton failed to score a single goal, let alone register a point, the Whites are unbeaten for the whole of October. Bolton remain bottom of the Championship despite this string of results but have seen a renaissance this past month.
Despite having the worst start to a season in over a century, Bolton fans were optimistic as they hosted Sheffield Wednesday for the first fixture of October.
In the Carabao Cup earlier this season, Bolton registered a 3-2 win over Wednesday, giving the Whites an excellent opportunity to achieve their first league win of the season.
The hopeful fans weren’t disappointed in their trip to the Macron as they were treated to an action-packed game. Josh Vela and Sammy Ameobi returned from injury and made an instant impact.
Sheffield defenders continuously retreated at the sight of Ameobi and were punished as a result.
Early in the first half the winger opened his body and produced a brilliant curling effort into the bottom corner past the goalkeeper, giving Bolton fans a large sigh of relief.
The game was a pleasure to watch, constant attacking intent from both sides meant there was action for all ninety minutes. Both teams had attempts cleared off the line and hit the post and both goalkeepers made amazing saves.
Bolton doubled their lead after half-time as Filipe Morais’ whipped corner was turned in by the Wednesday defender at the near post.
The two-goal cushion didn’t last long as Wednesday piled on the pressure. A scrappy goal to concede, a cross into the box was not dealt with by the Bolton defenders. A shot was initially blocked by the hand of Morais on the line, but this was soon converted by Kieran Lee.
Wanderers were able to hold onto this lead to record their first win of the campaign, in a hope to revive this season.
Bolton then hosted Queens Park Rangers, hoping to build on their previous victory amid Storm Brian.
Bolton drew first blood in the first half as captain Darren Pratley headed in from close range. A Josh Vela corner was met with the head of Gary Madine who guided the ball into the path of Pratley who helped it past the QPR keeper.
The Whites could have doubled their lead in the second half as Vela found himself one-on-one with the QPR goalkeeper. Unfortunately, he was unable to steady himself and rolled the ball into the keeper's arms.
Bolton once again began to sit back which gave QPR the opportunity to produce an equaliser. A curling cross into the box was met with a flick by talismanic striker Idrissa Sylla who beat Ben Alnwick in goal, someone who has enjoyed a spell of brilliant performances.
With the scores ending level, fans could see this as two points dropped. However, any points will be needed after having such a lengthy run of defeats.
Bolton then travelled to London to face a Fulham squad who found themselves comfortably in mid-table.
It was almost a disastrous start for the Whites as Floyd Ayite slotted the ball past Alnwick after a defence-splitting pass found him in acres of space but it was ruled offside.
Ameobi opened the scoring for Bolton, following a freak assist. A long kick from Ben Alnwick looped over the heads of the Fulham defence, finding Ameobi who shielded the ball from the defender and finishing coolly past the Fulham keeper.
Despite the lead, Bolton was hardly in the game. Fulham dominated for the majority of the game and deserved a goal.
It took them until the fourth minute of added time to find a winner, much to the disappointment of the Bolton players. A cross from the by-line by Kevin McDonald found Tom Cairney in space who headed the ball past Alnwick.
A disappointing end to the game which can certainly be seen as Bolton dropping points at the death. However, the performance of Fulham put Bolton to bed, so a draw would have been a more than fair result.
For the final game of October, Bolton travelled to fellow Championship strugglers Sunderland for a game which would provide vital points on the road to safety for either team.
Bolton opened the scoring first, once again through Ameobi. A long ball to Madine was put under control into the path of Ameobi who was in a significant amount of space. A long-range strike flew past the Sunderland keeper to put Bolton in the driving seat.
This lead didn’t last long as Lewis Grabban’s burst of pace sent him away past Mark Beevers and his shot rolled past Alnwick to level the scores before half time.
Following the restart, Sunderland took the lead as the Bolton defence was once again dismantled. Grabban scored his second of the night with a tap into an open goal after some smart play by Sunderland.
This lead didn’t last long as, minutes later, Bolton levelled. Madine found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after the Sunderland defenders failed to deal with a Josh Vela cross, giving him ample time to compose himself and finish.
Bolton then regained their lead through Karl Henry. Antonee Robinson latched onto a weak back pass to the Sunderland goalkeeper and produced a cross to Henry at the back post who hit the volley low and hard into the net.
The thrilling game was closed out as Paddy McNair produced the final piece of action of the game ten minutes from time with a saving strike. Some clever footwork by Duncan Watmore guided the ball into the path of McNair who hit it low and hard from 20 yards past Alnwick.