RAMBLE: Bolton -v- Wednesday

RAMBLE: Bolton -v- Wednesday

Midweek games aren’t easy at the best of times.

It always involves some excuse and rushing around.

This is worse when it’s an away midweek, which is a rare treat for me.

Although watching Wednesday of late hasn’t been much of a treat…

Home for a shower, shave and change of clothes.

I head down to James, who does an emergency ticket check as Mark picks us up. A quick swing round to get Russ and we really are on our way, with the beer and conversation flowing.

After about an hour the music is the best of Oasis. We discuss their best work.

There are a few things decided. All the best songs are sung by Noel and their B sides are often better than singles.

However, opinion is divided on their best song: Don’t Look Back In Anger or The Masterplan (we all know it’s Don’t look Back in Anger).

As we crawled through Glossop, Mark took a shortcut. And then suddenly slammed on the breaks in the middle of a busy road.


Sorry, says Mark, the accelerator was stuck down.

That’s ok, Mark. Just don’t kill us.

Eventually we get to Bolton, alive and just in time to get a beer in the ground before the game.

Tom and I storm ahead as the others were walking so slowly our window for beer was disappearing before our eyes.

We get in and head straight to the bar inside the turnstiles, where there was a choice of Carling or Carling. We want beer, so Carling it is. The others turn up as we get served and we discuss predictions.

We’ve all gone for a 2-1 win, except Tom who said 3-1. The one was purely based on the inevitability of a Gary Madine goal. Then again, he’s a poor player in a poor team so it wasn’t likely.

We get to our seats, where it seems row F actually means three rows from the front.

The alphabet is clearly different in these parts.


Wildsmith retained his spot

Wildsmith retained his spot

Wednesday came out with Michael Turner making his debut, in place of skipper Glenn Loovens, and Marco Matias in for a recently ineffective Ross Wallace.

Jack Hunt was also back in place of Liam Palmer.

We started brightly, closing down and winning possession. Shortly after the start, the ball came to Gary Madine, about 10 yards in from the touchline. One touch and it went out of play to ironic cheers from the Wednesday fans.

From this point we dominated the game. We were getting forward and looking likely. A goal seemed inevitable.

A chance soon came as Fernando Forestieri and Atdhe Nuhiu looked dangerous. It looked like Matias was through and was going to put it in but somehow it went out for a corner.

We had one of the worst views I’ve had at a football ground.

The crossbar was at eye level as we watched the game. It was near impossible to see anything past the halfway line without ducking down to watch the game.

This isn’t good for your back.

Matias chooses the wrong option

Matias chooses the wrong option

We continued to go forward and there was a series of ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ but no goal came, despite chances for Forestieri and Kieran Lee.

Just before half time, Madine appeared to be caught in the box and went down. No penalty was given but it was a marginal decision that could have gone the other way.

HALF TIME: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Wednesday

We headed for half time beer in full confidence that we’d finish the job in the second half.

Bannan and Madine battle for possession

Bannan and Madine battle for possession

Again, we started brightly but Forestieri missed when it looked easoer to score as he looped the ball past the wrong side of the post.

We feared we’d live to regret these chances and so it was. The sad thing is that our performance dropped just as it needed a lift.

We needed to do something different but we weren’t capable of that.

Alex Lopez, Joao and Modou Sougou were brought on to create some life but it all became lacklustre and a 0-0 draw looked increasingly inevitable.

Matias was one of the players taken off and it was another game where winger had been far too quiet.

There is a void of creativity that needs to be sorted sooner rather than later.

The inexcusable thing about this second half performance is that there was no urgency and a few instances where we were running for loose balls and were totally devoid of ideas.

FULL TIME: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Wednesday

There was no doubt this was two points dropped and we lie 18th, which is a lot lower than we thought we’d be after our lone win over Bristol City on the opening day.

We left the ground and headed back to the car.

Again, Tom and I went ahead as the others crawled along. As we left, Tom realised he’d been a little optimistic in telling his boyfriend he’d be home for dinner by 11pm. We weren’t even away from the ground when it approached 11pm.



Eventually we were onto clear road and tried to drive back via a KFC or a McDonalds, which led to us getting lost.

We were more focussed on getting food and our need for a top striker than checking where we were going. It seemed we didn’t know where we were but we stumbled across a McDonalds off the motorway.

It looked distinctly closed but said 24 hours. Turned out it was closed for maintenance.

We headed back and Tom was insistent that there was a takeaway in Glossop we needed to go to. They’ve been before on various cross-Pennine road trips. It was fate it seemed.

The takeaway, called Yummy, was a typical post-pub grease filler. You go because all the good places are closed. Only myself, Tom and James had food. Notably, only those of us who had drunk the most got food.

We got pizza and back in the car and suddenly we were back in Sheffield.

Time for bed. This is a school night, after all.

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