Bolton Disappoint in Preston Defeat
Bolton were dealt a setback towards their hopes of staying in the Championship with a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Preston.
Just like a couple of years ago when we last welcomed these lot, we went ahead and led at half-time, but a second half collapse, with Tom Barkhuizen levelling, then a double from the half-fit Sean Maguire, who came off the bench, consigned us to what was only a second home defeat in the league since September.
After going ahead through a scrappy goal from Beevers, we did reasonably well but performed our usual trick of sitting back and trying to protect the 1-0 lead. That utterly failed after the break, with Barkhuizen`s leveller coming not long after the teams were back out and then went on to lose the game.
Ben Alnwick has been excellent of late - we`d even voted him Player of the Month, but of the award had a curse, it reared its head today, there some saves earlier but wasn`t at his best in the second half. David Wheater and Mark Beevers played well, but Dorian Dervite moving along to right-back in the second half was a move that backfired, but both he and Antonee Robinson struggled with the movement of Preston`s wide-men.
Less said about the midfield, who struggled to get any sort of grip on the game, Filipe Morais moving to the left flank later in the game didn`t really work, while Jan Kirchhoff came off the bench but didn`t have enough time to make a real impact.
Sammy Ameobi tried, and gave some Preston defenders something to think about, but the quest to find a suitable partner continues. It doesn`t look like Tyler Walker will be that man, but nobody to start alongside Ameobi so far has made a case, the only good performance came when Adam Le Fondre came off the bench against Fulham. If we`re now playing two up front, he would seem to be the option we should stick with.
With several games called off, it`s hard to reckon how that result will hurt, but even a worst-case scenario wouldn`t drag us into the bottom three. It was a result we could have done without though, we now have two big away games, and our next home game is against Aston Villa.