2 May 2021

Bolton Wanderers vs Exeter City

Following last week’s magnificent win against Morecambe, today’s match against the Grecians could not come quick enough. How we have got through this week, I do not know but at last the appointed hour arrived. The target, a win and automatic promotion would be ours. All the necessary precautions had been taken with no alterations to pre-match rituals and preparation, lucky clothes donned and the Doombar put on ice in preparation for the celebrations. The only thing standing in our way were Exeter City, who had Play-off ambitions of their own.
Ian Evatt went for experience, bringing back Declan John and Antoni Sarcevic for Ben Jackson and George Thomason, respectively. In a good open first half, things went well for us as Gethin Jones fired home a well worked opening goal. At half time, we were almost daring to believe that it would be our day. But Exeter City went for it in the second half, and we could not respond. They got an early equaliser and we struggled to get going as too many players were below par. To rub salt in our wounds, Exeter got the injury time winner to narrow our options next week. Arguably, midway through the first half, they should have been down to 10 men as Alex Hartridge fouled Lloyd Isgrove as he appeared to be the last man to deny a goal scoring opportunity but, on the day, Exeter deserved it, and good luck to them.
I am not sure if disappointment adequately covers our feelings right now. We are feeling down but not out. We have lost a battle but not lost the war. We have got a week to lick our wounds, regroup and get it right at Crawley Town next Saturday. Automatic promotion is still on and is still within our hands. We cannot change today’s result as that is in the history books now. We can affect our future. Forget today’s match as the only match that matters is the next one. Pressure affects different players in different ways and Ian Evatt has got to find a way for our team to overcome the undoubted pressures of clinching promotion and get the result we all want and need at the People’s Pension stadium in West Sussex. The maths are simple. Barring an unexpected slip up from Morecambe, we have to win. Come on you Whites. We can do it.