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3 things we clearly learnt about Bolton Wanderers after 2-0 win v Crewe

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Bolton Wanderers were able to secure a much-needed 2-0 win against bottom of the table Crewe Alexandra on Friday night as they finally made a return to winning ways.

Ian Evatt’s side went into the game in need of a result after they had managed to pick up just a single point from their previous five League One matches.

That run of form had seen them slide down what is a congested area of the table between the sides just outside the play-offs all the way down to around 17th place.

The victory for the Trotters will relieve some of the pressure on Evatt after their recent poor run of form and it enabled Bolton to temporarily at least move back into the top ten in League One. That shows just how quickly things can change with a good result. It is not essential that they build on this result.

It was a night when only a win would have done and Bolton managed to achieve that and they will now hope that can be the start of the sort of run of form they were showing prior to their run of four defeats in five league games.

So, with Bolton having picked up a much-needed win, we take a look at THREE things we clearly learnt about the Trotters against Crewe on Friday night…

Evatt shows ability to turn things around following fan pressure after first-half showing

Considering their recent form Bolton supporters were hoping to see an immediate reaction from the first whistle at home against a Crewe side that had already suffered nine defeats in their opening 16 League One matches. Therefore, it was expected that the Trotters would take a grip on the contest very early on.

However, that is not how things turned out and the Trotters laboured at times during the opening 45 minutes with their confidence levels seemingly low given their previous run of form. That cause frustration to build up amongst supporters inside the stadium and there was clear discontent from sections of Bolton’s fanbase with the goalless scoreline at the break.

Evatt though crucially managed to get a reaction from his players at halftime. The second period did see Bolton exert their extra quality on proceedings and they were in control from the moment they managed to edge ahead after Crewe’s David Richards brought down Amadou Bakayoko inside the penalty area and then Josh Sheehan coolly converted from the spot.

It was a much better all-round performance from Bolton in the second period and they were rewarded by adding a second goal to seal the win a few minutes after opening the scoring. That came with Bakayoko ending his goal drought in League One that had stretched back to the opening day when he converted after good work from Elias Kachunga.

That second-half display now needs to be something that Evatt builds on and gets out of his side on a consistent basis over the full 90 minutes in the games to come.

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Lloyd Isgrove shows potential to emerge as right-back solution

Over the last month or so Bolton’s form has dipped in League One and that has partly been down to an issue that they have had in the right-back position following Gethin Jones suffering a fractured fibula injury that has kept him out of action since the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Evatt entrusted Lloyd Isgrove to try and fill that right-back position against Crewe with Kachunga starting on the right-wing and the pair managed to link up very well at times down that side of the field and cause plenty of issues for Crewe’s defence.

Isgrove was a major threat for Bolton on the overlap throughout the contest, and there was one standout moment from him in the first half of the game when he produced an audacious backheel to set up an excellent chance that was not converted. That type of moment shows the quality that he can bring to the table when arriving from deep on the overlap down the right.

The winger will be tested more defensively in other games than he was against Crewe, but this performance certainly showed the attacking benefits that Isgrove brings to the team in that right-back position. With Jones still out for an unknown amount of time, it might be the solution that the Trotters have been needing.

Bolton finally show they are able to keep clean sheets but bigger tests to come

Ahead of the game against Crewe, Bolton had failed to record a single clean sheet in the league in their last ten matches since they were held to a goalless draw by Burton Albion at home back at the start of September. Since then, they have been making a few too many mistakes at the back and that has been a problem for them in terms of winning enough games recently.

However, against Crewe, it was a much better defensive display from the Trotters. Both Ricardo Santos and Will Aimson dealt comfortably with pretty much everything that was thrown at them and were a dominant pairing against the attacking players in the visitor’s line-up.

Joel Dixon was largely able to handle everything that Crewe threw at him as well, with the keeper pulling off a good save to deny an effort from Zac Williams after the break. However, the keeper did spill a cross to provide one nervy moment for his backline towards the end of the game.

Crewe also did strike the woodwork late on through Madger Gomes, but that was the closes they came to denying Bolton a much-needed clean sheet.
There will obviously be better opponents for them to face in the coming weeks, but this was a good sign that they can get better defensively.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Bolton Wanderers after 2-0 win v Crewe

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