To be fair, if anybody had offered me a point against the Toffees I would have snatched their hand off. Admirably, we battled hard with a below strength side and deserved to be on level terms at half time, thanks to a header from the ever improving Beausejour laid on by the ever more confident Jordan Mutch. However, the second half would have made Custer’s last stand look an evenly fought tussle yet somehow we held out to illustrate the fighting spirit we have in spades.
Fast forward to Bolton and with an even more below strength side, I was expecting very little but actually went away from Stan’s pretty heartbroken given the tremendous performance that went unrewarded crowned by a goal from Superkev fit to grace any FA cup final.
Early on, it was a fairly even game but things looked ominous when Barry Ferguson and Martin Jiranek had to be substituted. Ellamander, apparently once a Zigic-like figure in his first season at Bolton showed he’d got the opposite of second season syndrome, with a firmly struck shot to add to his season’s collection. In fact, it was almost as finely struck as Cameron Jerome’s equalising effort…and how often can that be said?
The penalty that resulted in Bolton’s second was a result of a clumsy challenge from Curtis Davies on his namesake although Kevin D seemed to have fouled Beausejour beforehand. Mind you Ben Foster must take some of the blame for not telling Curtis to ‘welly’ it out for a corner.
However, Blues weren’t ready to lie down and after Superkev had hit the post and Bolton had cleared one off the line, the impressive Nathan Redmond touched the ball onto Superkev for a goal that was a privilege to witness…a goal that, if it had been scored by Wayne Rooney or Torres, would have seen the national media reaching for their incontinence pants. In fact, the front two were very impressive and were ably helped by a midfield that supported the forward play effectively. Beausejour and Redmond gave the Bolton defence no rest whilst Larsson, in his makeshift central role, worked hard alongside Jordan Mutch who played as if he owned the midfield rather than being a bit part stand-in. If Blues had a problem it was defensively although both Parnaby and Ridgewell acquitted themselves well. Unfortunately Murphy in particular was exposed for his lack of pace, particularly when chasing back.
The last-gasp Bolton winner was a cruel blow but the Blues players left the pitch with their heads held high to the cheers of Bluenoses who also deserve a special mention for their tremendous backing throughout the match.