Bolton Wanderers suffered their worst ever League One loss at the hands of Accrington Stanley on Saturday, as John Coleman’s side beat them 7-1 at the Crown Ground.
Daryl Murphy gave the Trotters an early lead but the momentum shifted after 14 minutes when defender Josh Earl was sent off for a foul inside the penalty area.
Colby Bishop converted the subsequent penalty and then put the home side ahead 12 minutes later.
Sean McConville found the net either side of the half for Accrington, with Dion Charles and an Offrande Zanzala brace adding insult to injury for Bolton.
Bolton will have a chance for revenge on Tuesday night as they welcome Accrington to the Macron Stadium in the Second Round of the EFL Trophy.
Before the focus shifts to that game, here are three things we learned about Bolton in the 7-1 defeat.
They still face a monumental task.
Prior to the game, there was lots of positivity surrounding the Trotters. Bolton had won three league games in a row, won four of their last five games in all competitions, and moved into positive points for the first time this term–having started the season with a 12-point deduction.
Things were finally moving in the right direction for Hill’s side and you’d just started to wonder if maybe survival was possible.
However, a lot of that momentum will have disappeared following this huge defeat and they have now slipped 15 points adrift of safety.
Saturday was a reminder of just how monumental a task Bolton and Hill face this season.
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Hill’s side are still learning to play together.
Due to their upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, it has been easy to forget that Bolton’s squad was decimated by financial issues over the summer and that their current side is a combination of young players and free-agent and loan signings that don’t have a lot of experience playing together.
That was evident on Saturday. There was a distinct lack of togetherness when things started to go against the Trotters and they were unable to come together and raise their game–as sides down to 10 men so often do.
Daryl Murphy has found some hot form in front of goal.
There were very few positives to take from Saturday’s game but the continuation of Murphy’s impressive goalscoring form was certainly one.
The 36-year-old has been rolling back the years and has now scored four times in seven league appearances for the Trotters.
They will need him to stay hot if they’re going to have any chance of survival.