Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Bury: Mini Review

I’m currently in the process of packing my bags for a week’s holiday, so all the future articles for the remaining league games will be mini versions. After which, I’ll set out my plans for the blog for the close season, some of which will hinge on which division Bury find themselves in.

  • In an unprecedented move, all four of Bury midfielders from last Thursday’s loss against Rochdale were out of the squad.. and all because of injury. This meant a reversion to the normally solid five at the back. Andrew Tutte came back from his 50th sixth injury of the season and completed a full 90 minutes.
  • Andy Taylor got the nod in the deep role on the left flank for Bolton and was arguably the home side’s best player, looking threatening going forward and completely nullifying what little threat the visitors had down his entire side.
  • Although it shouldn’t really affect whether a player should be sent off, Leon Barnett’s very late tackle on the dangerous Adam Le Fondre early on during the game probably helped to prevent the Shakers being even more up against it. Aside from that, the former Wigan centre back had another very good game from a defensive point of view and his general form is in complete contrast to the dark days of October. Fully fit and understanding the role someone is playing go a long way to explaining why that’s the case (for any pro). His long passes to the forward line could do with some improvement, however.
  • Too much of the spectacle was played high in the air and the quality on show suffered as a consequence. Given the Trotters’ individual and collective superiority in midfield, I’m surprised they didn’t make more use of their ability to hold onto the ball for longer and pick out better options. Jay Spearing was largely prevented from probing by a disciplined performance from Scott Burgess.
  • Cameron Burgess was dominant aerially (as were all three of Bolton’s warriors). It remains to be seen whether he’ll stay at Fulham after the season finishes but if manager Lee Clark is looking for a strong foundation to challenge higher up the league in 2017/2018, then he should look no further. His physique complements Antony Kay’s well and his left foot also provides balance to the spine of the team.
  • Adam Le Fondre made the most of his isolated role up front for the home side and is one of the best at this level in fashioning his own chances. He was desperately unlucky that his long range effort in the second half hit the crossbar and didn’t bounce in conclusively.
  • Both teams were mostly limited to snapshots 25 yards or more out. Tutte, Paul Caddis and George Miller all sliced theirs badly for the away side. David Wheater, with seven league goals to his name, brought the best out of Joe Murphy with his screamer.
  • Bury’s best chance was comfortably kept out by Mark Howard, with James Vaughan shackled by Phil Parkinson’s charges and only managing a single headed effort. Opportunities were always going to be at a premium and the initiative must be taken on Saturday against Northampton to ensure the goalless run doesn’t continue.
  • Filipe Morais’ dead balls were of a high standard but the penalty area was packed with black and neon green shirts at all times. That is both testament to their defensive organisation and also of ‘respect’ given to the winger’s accuracy and level of threat.
  • Although his name wasn’t called from the substitutes’ bench, the very presence of Callum Hulme is a clear indication of his potential ability. Expect to see him feature next season regardless of whether it’s in League One or Two.
  • The stalemate opens the door for Fleetwood to pounce if Bolton drop further points in the final two fixtures, but despite their own recent drought in front of goal, I cannot see them leaving Vale Park on Saturday empty-handed (which would obviously be good news for Bury’s prospects). Once again, the stakes will be high.
  • As for the club on the eastern end of the A58, the point gained last night could prove to be the difference between survival and their downfall. Much still depends on the match between Walsall and Port Vale next Tuesday but if they can better one/both of Shrewsbury and Gillingham’s results this weekend, they ought to be safe.

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