Bolton Wanderers earned a crucial three points at the weekend, as they ran out 3-2 winners over Southend United in their final game before Christmas.
Keith Hill’s side fell behind against Sol Campbell’s side though, as Harry Lennon opened the scoring for the visitors after just ten minutes.
But Bolton rallied shortly after, with Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy scoring in relatively quick succession to make Hill’s half-time team talk a simpler one.
Murphy netted his second goal of the game just after the hour mark, but the Trotters were made to work hard for the three points as Timothee Dieng scored ten minutes from time.
Bolton held on though as they moved to within two points of Southend in the League One table, and they’ll be hoping to build on this impressive showing when they’re next in action on Boxing Day against Sunderland.
We look at THREE things we learnt about Keith Hill’s side in the win over Southend on Saturday.
Murphy is finding his confidence in front of goal.
Bolton faced a real uphill battle to retain their status as a League One club this season after their well-documented off-the-field problems.
But the form shown by Daryl Murphy will certainly be pleasing to see for both Keith Hill and the Bolton supporters as we head into the second-half of the season.
The experienced forward now has six goals to his name in all competitions for the Trotters, and it seems as though he’ll be heading into the New Year full of confidence.
He’s Bolton’s top goalscorer this season, and he’s a key player that Hill will rely on to score the goals to fire them up the League One table.
Bolton’s home form will be key to their survival chances.
Despite’s Bolton’s struggles this season, their home form has been a positive that they can build on heading into the New Year.
The Trotters have only been beaten twice so far in their league campaign, and Keith Hill will be keen to see his side maintain this as a strength for as long as possible.
They’ve still got to face some tricky teams in the second-half of this season, and you have to feel as though their chances of survival could be heavily reliant on their home form this term.
The win came at an important time.
Bolton were sat on just two points coming into the game against Southend, so for them to pick up a much-needed win in this one will be a real confidence-booster.
Keith Hill’s side take on the likes of Portsmouth, Sunderland and Burton Albion in the near future, so for them to come out of the game against the Shrimpers with three points, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
For Bolton to stand any chance of surviving in the third tier, they need to be beating the teams around them in the table, and they’re certainly doing just that, which gives them a chance of retaining their status as a League One club.