Bolton Wanderers vs Rotherham United

With the last gasps of summer beaming down on us, we headed for the Unibol, only to find that the Harvester was full to capacity, and they could not squeeze us in for our pre-match refreshments. The cause was the fantastic response to the first family day of the season, with the longer journey time providing the first hint as to what was to come. It was brilliant to see the packed home sections of the stadium with lots of excited children and even lots of excited adults after last week’s magnificent result at Ipswich Town. There seemed to be lots of extra stewards, bar staff and other assistants to keep things running smoothly. The atmosphere was good as we faced strong promotion candidates, Rotherham United.
What could go wrong as Ian Evatt named an unchanged team and we started brightly? Well, the Millers had not read the script and they became party poopers as they scored two good goals within the space of four minutes to take a lead, which they never looked like losing. We competed well, created some chances but when Eoin Doyle hit the post and George Johnstone’s header was ruled out for offside, the feeling grew that it was not going to be our day. In today’s parlance, Rotherham’s game management was excellent, whereas previously we would have accused them of time wasting.
With Dapo Afolayan being well marked with two and sometimes three players on him, other players should have been able to exploit the spaces but too many of our creative players were below par, especially in the final third of the pitch. On another day, it might have been a different story if we had pegged one back. Ironically the two teams that won their away matches last week by scoring 5 goals, both lost their home matches this week and the two heavily beaten teams from last week both won their away matches this week, but that is what we love about football. One good win does not make a season and one heavy defeat does not write the season off.
Everyone can see the improvements on the pitch, and we are well on our way to establishing ourselves as competitive in League 1. There are going to be setbacks like this match, but we are in it for the long haul. Let us see how we bounce back against Sunderland.