I haven’t watched Rovers much this season, so the opening quarter of this game offered hope and optimism I hadn’t expected. Rovers on top; Aidan Barlow busy; Ethan Galbraith excellent; Brandon Horton and Kyle Knoyle industrious in support.
Sadly, it was a false dawn, one where the most gilt-edged chance turned out to be merely well disguised rust. Jon Taylor, wide open, somehow lifting Joe Dodoo’s squared pass into the night sky rather than the net.
That was the turning point. Within 10 minutes, the home side edged in front through a hesitant defence, and Joseph Olowu saw a red card that felt harsh, but came from a pointless challenge. Watching this team feels a lot like dating in my first year of university, every now and again there are glimpses of something new and exciting, but ultimately it falls back into largely being a string of poor decisions. In first half injury time it was 2-0 and that was the game done.
There are teams which might rally when down to ten men; this is not one of them. So the only question of the second half was how many Bolton would add to their tally. Mercifully it was only one; George Thompson via a wicked deflection off Horton’s heel. Praising your team for not rolling over and conceding more would be fine were this a cup tie against a top-flight side, but Bolton are mid-table in our own division. And it’s hard to see Rovers reaching such heights soon.
by Glen Wilson