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Club News

The Lancashire Experience: Bolton

25 August 2012

Fixture
FLC, Friday 24 August 2012, 1945
Bolton Wanderers 2 – 2 Nottingham Forest
Venue
The Reebok Stadium
Weather/Conditions
Intermittent heavy showers
Away fan experience
Not even a seat on 3rd row meant being able to sit due to the persistent standing brigade and inaction from toothless stewards, though atmosphere good with plenty of noise by the travelling fans.  Only fast-food eateries near ground (Middlebrook), no pubs.  Friendly locals.
Facilities
Slightly improved since last visit, though pies looked distinctly cardboard.  Two kiosks serving Carling beer, queues shifted quickly. Clean and well-equipped toilets.  Parking reasonably well marshalled to area in front of away turnstiles, though a little haphazard due to presence of the Sky TV trailers occupying section nearest exit.
Programme
Miniature, of reasonable quality – good for older historians, though features a little rambling with not much visiting team information.
The Match
Another bright first 30 minutes from Forest before letting them back into the game by defending too deeply, resulting in McGugan’s brilliant opener to be cancelled out by an Eagles strike then falling behind early after HT after some defensive errors by Halford (though Kevin Davies got away with some cynical shoving). Seemed ages before tide turned back in our favour but a good counter attack involving Collins Blackstock and Cox set up Reid in perfect position to fire home to level.  Game could have gone either way, though Forest looked more likely to nick it in closing minutes.
Highlights
No contest: McGugan’s sublime 30-yarder had BBC Radio Manchester commenting afterwards as a must-see on highlights.  Clinical finishing by Reid gave us deserved share of points.
Lowlights
Defending too deeply inevitably let Bolton in, though not helped by some dubious shoving by Kevin Davies conveniently overlooked by the ref.
Hero
McGugan’s opener surely a main contender for Goal of the Season; Cox for support; Blackstock for provider for Reid’s goal; Maloney for finding the space.
Zero
Guedioura had a quiet game, and was arguably lucky to receive only a yellow card for a dodgy tackle – possible compensation for similar treatment of Kevin Davies by ref.
RefereeWhitestone – annoyed both sets of fans, though homer tendencies.
Entertainment Value 7.5/10 – Good end-to-end stuff played at fast tempo throughout.
Promotion Rating 
2 – A good point from what was always going to be one of our toughest games of the entire campaign.
Misc
Cox heavily marked by the towering Zat Knight. Away fans’ chants: Kevin Davies, What a W***er; Top of the League (after taking the lead) Premiership, you’re ‘avin’ a laugh (after we’d levelled at 2-2).

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