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Bolton Wanderers: JSJ

Bolton Wanderers
3 - 2
Smalltime Thugs

Reebok Stadium

19 October 2012

Attendance: 17,259


I`m in a very good mood today. I had a great weekend, as I hope you all did. Well, you should`ve, because we won!!!! We remember what winning feels like, don`t we? Marvelous, that`s how. I can`t remember when I last left the Reebok with such a feeling of euphoria. It was like eating a steak whilst flying through the air naked over a mountain covered with Victoria`s Secret models. Just superb.

The big question leading up to the match could only have been one thing. What was Jimmy going to wear? The man was suited and booted. I like that. I`m not entirely sure how you are supposed to be inspired by your boss if they`re wearing a tracksuit, even if you are a professional sportsman. Suits mean business.

We didn`t really kick off the way we wanted. In the third minute, Bristol`s midfielder Davis scored a spectacular strike, which Bogdan didn`t appear to have much chance of stopping. It came from nowhere. What I loved was that instead of booing or grumbling from the crowd, our fans egged the team on. It seemed like the penny had dropped; negativity from fans gets you nowhere. We had 87 minutes left to equalise, and we were going to do it.

We were completely in control of the game, so when we went 2-0 down after 20 minutes, it was quite hard to take. A poor penalty decision (people have said it was a stonewaller, but I was level on the right side of the tackle and Ream got the ball) meant that Davis was able to double Bristol City`s lead.

Still, we knew the players had the time and quality to turn this round. And our faith was rewarded. We hadn`t come back to win from a two nil deficit since that win at Ewood some years ago, but we sure looked like putting that right on Saturday.

Half an hour in, and we cut the deficit in two. Chris Eagles, in his somewhat trademark/ripped off from Cristiano Ronaldo stance, belted the ball into the back of the net. Such a lovely goal. He really has come out of his shell since returning to this level, and hopefully this will continue all the way back up to the top flight. Optimistic thinking I know, but we aren`t that far from the playoff places.

SKD assisted the second goal not too long into the second half; holding the ball up, then stroking it to Spearing, who slotted away like a striker in form, not a defensive midfielder who rarely gets forward. Maybe he should do more often! Once we had equalized, we never looked like stopping. Coyle`s Bolton would have given up and ran out of steam, whereas Jimmy`s Wanderers looked up to the challenge.

For the final ten, we changed our system. Afobe, whose effort and commitment unfortunately wasn`t matched by his quality, was replaced by Chung-Yong Lee, and Eagles moved into a central position behind the captain. It worked almost immediately. Lee passed the ball to Eagles, who made a defence-splitting pass to Petrov. The Bulgarian smashed it home for a late winner.

The celebration in the stadium was fantastic. Everything that I felt had gone about supporting Bolton Wanderers was back. The passion, commitment, excitement. Dreaming like a child. All back again. Thankyou Jimmy, Sammy and Julian, for you have reignited my passion.

After only one game, it appears that the JSJ reign is over. Dougie Freedman appears to be on his way in (which I`m sure Quentin will speak about tomorrow), but I hope these lads get a good place in the new set-up. They are great coaches, and whilst I don`t really buy into the local lad knows best thing that some of our fans are thinking, I do think that these lot staying would provide a stable base for any prospective manager coming into the club.

Star Player

Petrov was immaculate. Whilst he didn`t get as many balls into the box as usual, he played many shorter passes and contributed more to our overall game. He even tracked back sometimes. And that finish was top draw.

Date:Monday October 22 2012
Time: 8:40PM

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