Andy Munro on Blues’ goalless draw with Bolton.
Nil-nil draws can be dire, turgid affairs and the Blues v Bolton match fitted this description perfectly. Rubbing our hands after an exciting win over a talented Bristol City side, we should have known better than to expect a romp and goal fest against a distinctly average Bolton side.
In fact, in the first period they looked the distinctly better team and it was only in the second half did we look like we could pinch what would have been an undeserved win. Our passing was on the woeful side of woeful whilst they closed us down and pressed hard every time we tried to play the ball out.
At the back, Morrison went off with a broken nose to be replaced by Shotton, who it has to be said was excellent. Roberts tried to show calmness on the ball but was too often hurried into poor distribution. Grounds made some great blocks but these problems were often of his own making as he consistently gave the opposition winger too much space to run at him. Nsue on the other flank made the same mistake but, in fairness, was much more impressive going forward.
In the middle Gardner was peripheral and the boy from Senegal played as if he still had jet lag – a yard too slow but so was N’Daw when he joined us so I still have faith that the big ‘un will come good. Probably Klefenbeld was the pick in the middle as he worked and tackled hard, as he always does.
Both wingers turned in some of the better player performances but, in the centre, if Donaldson was a horse, he would be tomorrow’s meat. The second half improvement was, to a large extent, due to sub Jutkiewicz and his ability to win headers and be strong enough to hold the ball up. The intro of young Isaac Vassell also upped the ante as he showed his promised power and pace which augurs well for the future and, of course, a potential partnership with the talents of Che Adams.
It still looks like a mid-table season, especially with the injuries we are getting but hope springs eternal!