It was the second home match of the season, third in all including Ipswich away and overall after a win at the weekend, the start had not been too bad. Newly promoted Bolton came into the game off the back of a draw away at fellow newly promoted side Millwall.
Bolton started the game slowly, and goal scoring chances were at a premium but blues could never at one point in the game get a grip on it. The first main attempt on goal from the visitors came from target man Gary Madine but it was sent over the bar. Most of the chances were coming from the home side. Gardner, Cotterill and Donaldson had most the shots for the blues but it was frustrating when nothing was coming and especially with a new signing in town sitting on the bench, the team would have wanted to make a good impression.
There was a delay in play for injuries to a player from each team, Jem Karacan of Bolton and Michael Morrison of Blues. The delays were short but gave the players time to re-group and wait to resume. It was clear that the away side were here to take a point from the match, but the boys in royal blue were adamant they had to put a stamp on the game and score, but that just wouldn’t happen. Morrison eventually had to be substituted off for out of favour Ryan Shotton, half hour in.
Bolton started to made tracks and found their way into the game, because Redknapp’s men were giving away cheap free kicks in bad territory, but half time came around and the game was still tied.
The second half started off just how the first one ended with the home team dominating, Bolton were the highest scoring team in league one last season, and Blues were one of the lowest in the championship, but it seemed like the other way round in this game. Mark Howard, Bolton goalkeeper did not have a huge lot of shots to save, but his leadership skills in guiding the slightly inexperienced centre back in front of him, West Ham loanee Reece Burke, was giving him a strong claim for man of the match.
Mikael Kieftenbeld was sent off during last saturday’s fixture vs Bristol City, but the red card was successfully appealed and he was in the team tonight and just as Bolton started again to have a good spell in play, he was helping out with some defending duties by clearing the ball out for corners and throw-ins. Still, each time the visitors found their way into the game, the Blues slammed the door right in their face to create their own fortune, but it didn’t seem that way each time the shots bailed out for goal kicks or corners.
New signing, which was a needed one, sought after striker Isaac Vassell from Luton town came on to replace Clayton Donaldson in the latter stages of the game. The 23-year-old looked lively and gave the St Andrews faithful some hope, but he couldn’t make his mark by putting the ball into the back of the net.
Ryan Shotton, who is meant to be subject to a move away from St. Andrews, had a good game replacing skipper Morrison at half time. So did Lukas Jutkiewitz when he came on, but still no license to score. As the game neared the full time whistle, Bolton again threatened but no sign of a breakthrough and it ended that way with both teams sharing the points; still though Bolton ended up with more shots on goal than Blues mainly because Blues’ efforts came mainly at the beginning of the match whilst the away team only sharpened up in spells, were quiet for the majority but a bitter pill to swallow for the home team because after the game against Bristol City, Blues were looking to add to that, but they couldn’t because of stern defence from a tough but less threatening Bolton side.
Next up for Blues, a trip to the Pirelli Stadium to face Burton Albion who did the double on us last season, it’s also on the television on Sky Sports. For Bolton, Derby County.
RB Nsue , CB Morrison , CB Roberts , LB Grounds
CDM Gardner , RM Cotterill , CM N’doye , CM Kieftenbeld , LM Maghoma
CB Dervite , CB Burke , CB Beevers
RWB Morais , LWB Taylor
CM Pratley , CM Cullen , CM Karacan
RS Armstrong , LS Madine
Possession – Blues 53% , Bolton 47%
Shots – Blues 10 , Bolton 12
Shots on target – Blues 0 , Bolton 2
Corners – Blues 7 , Bolton 4
Fouls – Blues 13 , Bolton 8