Bolton Wanderers (H) December 12th, 3pm

"Wanderers in that happy valley"


We welcome Ian Evatt’s Trotters side as we hope to repeat the magic formula that resulted in one of the upsets of the day at Prenton Park. It was considered such an upset that Rory Holden and Wes McDonald were named in the “League 2 team of the week”, managed by Darrell Clarke! Another major upset saw Bolton Wanderers (previous 4 games WWWW) lose 3-6 at home to Port Vale (previous 4 games LLLL). Reaction on a Bolton fans’ message board suggest that Port Vale had nothing more “magic” than an energetic high-pressing game, being first to every 50/50 ball etc., … much the same tactic that served us so well at Tranmere, perhaps?

There aren’t many connections between our two clubs, largely because Wanderers have historically occupied places many divisions above ourselves, but some contributors may remember Steve Elliott (1984-86, signed from Luton Town, then moved to Bolton), John Manning (1971-72, signed from Bolton Wanderers then moved to Tranmere. He only made 14 appearances for us but scored 6 goals, not a bad conversion rate), and of course Michael Ricketts (1995-2000, with Bolton paying a reported £400,000. He went on to get one England cap).

After a poor start to this season Wanderers’ form picked up in November, and they’ve lifted themselves out of the drop zone to the top half of the table. Their current League 2 form looks like this:-

November 3rd Mansfield Town (H) Drew 1-1
November 13th Salford City (H) Won 2-0
November 21st Stevenage (A) Won 1-2
November 24th Scunthorpe United (A) Won 0-1
November 28th Southend United (H) Won 3-0
December 5th Port Vale (H) Lost 3-6

Incidentally, before their hammering by Port Vale, Bolton’s goal difference was 17-18, which is exactly what ours is now…

So, what will Tinkerman be preparing for this latest episode in his project? Hopefully he will (injuries permitting) name an unchanged line-up, with instructions to take the game to the opposition. Our strikers have probably benefitted from the likes of Dan Scarr coming forward for set pieces to add to our goal threat, and we seem to have found out (occasionally) how to take corner kicks!

Prediction? If the same team turns up that featured at Tranmere then a home win should be well within our capabilities. No doubt Bolton Wanderers will be busy putting to rights any shortcomings from that dreadful performance against Port Vale, but conceding 6 goals at home isn’t always that easy to put from the mind. This has to be a 2-0 result (at least), with Gordon and Adebayo netting, to lift us up to the play-off zone chasing pack.


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An afterthought … In that Port Vale game, with the score at 1-5 in the 54th minute, the Bolton Wanderers’ manager threw 4 substitutes on to the field in one go - does that remind you of someone?

:wink: :soccer: :wink:

Depends which Walsall turn up-if its the same one as last week we will win.

This game is a milestone, after all the poor performances up until Tranmere we were down and out, but the Tranmere result lifted us beyond expectations, giving fans hope that we have turned a corner.
Putting in a seasons best performance, and proving that we can do it, so anything less than a convincing performance, win lose or draw, will just put us back into the doldrums

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Just remember what usually happens when we play a team that’s down on its luck. We usually kick start their revival.


Dangerous game for me. People will expect a win now with the great performance and Bolton shipping in 6 but before that they were on a good run and their experienced front 2 were scoring plenty.

Would be very surprised and delighted with a clean sheet so think this is another game where Wes is needed for top form, hopefully the goal sparks him off on a run.


I don’t expect a win against Bolton but I expect a performance of blood and guts as the players with a bit of confidence from the Tranmere game start on the front foot and try and deliver another 90 minute effort to keep up the hope for themselves and us supporters. 2-2 UTS

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Almost impossible to predict a result, play anything like last week and win.

Play like we did against Southend etc then we get beat comfortably… It’s literally a toss of a coin.

This is a game you would love to have a crowd in for. Sadly we can’t. If we want to look up rather than down, we need to start to improve our home form. I’ll go for a 2-1 win.

Add to that Tinkermans infatuation with ‘projects’ (ie whatever names he pulls out of the hat!)
Will he pull to pieces a winning ‘team’ as he usually does, or will public pressure not to, sway him? Doubtful.
I’ll go with everyone else predicting a Desmond. They have forwards we could only dream about, and our ‘Christmas gift goal’ will probably be back on the menu for another home non-performance again.

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Whatever happens, win lose or draw, I’d like to see the same 11. There’s no excuse here, they’ve had a weeks rest and are coming off the back of an excellent performance, not just a win.

Do that and I’ll be happy.


It’s so annoying when you see the way league 2 is panning out,a half decent team would have wiped the floor with this league.Sadly not us.

Not yet :wink: :wink: :wink:


What you did last Saturday, repeat this Saturday too. Hard to say what caused last game performance, so it’s good to limit possible factors. It can be difficult game, they probably want to forget about last game, so draw would be good. But if three points will be possible, no problem. Not at all. Of curse there is big chance this time will be missed project, but we’ll see. In worst case scenario I think it is called reality check, or something.

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Really starting to despise Bolton, I hope we smash them.


What kept you? :grin: I’ve despised them and their fans and their horrible stewards for decades.


The guy we have rented the apartment off in Tenerife for the last 10 years is a bolton fan, and i have had a few chats with him around the pool over the years, he is under no illusions as to how badly they have been run.

I maintained a healthy dislike of them for years and seemed content with that, but their antics over the last few years has proved the red line.

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We are due a draw


Yeah, wouldn’t that make a change!