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Bolton 0 Rovers 0


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Match Report by blueblood.

A pretty dissatisfying match in many ways but a point is a point, and against Bolton away from home that isn't a bad result.

The first half was woeful, and Rovers need to improve on that, another performance like that and against a better team we'd get punished. Fortunately Bolton were equally poor, though Campo should have scored late on in the first half from a corner (which would have really left us in trouble.)

Second half was more frustraiting then anything else, as Rovers hinted though never really got hold of the game as they promised to do. The substitutions were the catalyst, and I think Hughes erred in his team selection. I'm chuffed that matty is in the first team picture but playing him on his own up front against bolton was never likely to work. With Rovers hoofing it long all the time, the slim chance of him getting anything became nil.

This game was crying out for Kuqi or Dickov to start, to ruffle a few feathers and to be fair the former did when he came on. Sadly that's all he did, as a lack of technique/that but of extra quality that was just missing, meant the difference between sometimes threatening and downright dangerous. One time which typified this was when the ball was played towards the Bolton left back area, Kuqi outmusled the defender in getting the ball, and then promptly lost it when he had a clear run down the wing through lack of control. If Hughes can improve his technique and touch we have the bargain of the season on our hands, if not we've got another Ashely Ward.

Tactically I also thought Hughes had erred in taking off Pederson instead of the anonymous Emerton. This did have a negative effect on the team in terms of set pieces (more on this later) but Emerton then began to show his quality, and impressed in the latter stages of the game. One of the big positives is that the indications are that Emerton might provide adequate cover on the left should Morten get injured.

Kish-thingy had a fairly quiet debute the jury's till out on this one IMO. His centre back partner Nelsen was awesome - we'll be lucky to keep hold of him, this chap is one of the top few centre backs in the country. On many a time he covered for one player or another, and I wonder to what extent this convered up for or overshaddowed Zurab's performance. Either way Nelsen is a legend in the making.

Another gripe is Savage, another stupid booking - the daftest yet - and his free kicks and corners were shocking. Every single one went sailing over evveryone's heads. His passing in play wasn't exactly telling either, but it was the wasted set pieces which annoyed me most. If MGP's not on the pitch, Emerton should be dealing with them, I was very disappointed with our 'star' midfielder. The other two central midfielders had quiet games, although neither performance was poor.

Bentley drifted in and out of the game, which was understandable considering he hasn't seen much 1st team football recently. But when he was in the game he made a heck of a difference. Maybe he's the attacking midfielder we've been after to solve our problems, and though it's too early to say the first signs are very promising.

Overall a frustrating game, a dire first half with Rovers edging the second. Rovers cannot feel too agrieved about not winning though as despite having the edge never really took the game by the scruff of the neck and dominatea, as they hinted at and had opportunity to do

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Campo, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Pedersen, Giannakopoulos (Gardner 56), Nolan, Okocha (Hunt 78), Speed, Diouf, Davies (Borgetti 70).

Subs Not Used: Walker, Nakata.

Booked: Campo.

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Nelsen, Matteo, Emerton, Savage, Mokoena, Reid, Pedersen (Bentley 58), Jansen (Kuqi 58).

Subs Not Used: Dickov, Enckelman, Tugay.

Booked: Matteo, Savage.

Att: 24,405.

Ref: G Poll

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