You won’t find us crying over our Papa John’s Trophy exit. But one more winless league game and it could be a different story; Bolton Wanderers up next for a first-ever meeting between the two sides. For the Trotters, you could say that they’ve had it much worse in recent years. The Premier League now feels like a distant memory after coming down to the fourth tier for the first time since 1988. But it won’t stop ’em coming here and piling the pressure on Boro’..
The ‘defeat’ at Northampton Town in midweek is another classic example of where we’re at right now. Unable to find the net. Unable to win in 90 minutes. Do you need it summed up in something shorter than a whole game? Well, there’s Femi Akinwande’s one-on-one attempt; storming past the goalkeeper and ending up halfway to the corner flag. Is that as a sign of our collective confidence right now? If so, we could be in for a long weekend. Again.
Bottom two baby, the only way is up. Unless you count bottom place, which – thankfully – goal difference means we can’t hit for at least another week.
The Details: Stevenage v Bolton Wanderers
Where’s the game?
It’s at the Lamex.
Can I watch Stevenage v Bolton Wanderers?
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How are Boro’ shaping up…?
The good news is that, based on the season so far, there are just three things we need: goals, creativity and the ability to hold onto any lead we can blag (see Morecambe away). We’re only three points better off than the same stage last term thanks to a 3-0 win over Oldham. That’s as distant a memory as Bolton’s time in the top flight. But how can we end an awful run of 10 without a win if we can’t score on home turf; our past four home games producing sod all in the Goals For column.
… and how are they doing right now?
After a rubbish start to the campaign, the Trotters are now picking up points here and there. The first three games ended in defeat – but they’ve only lost twice in the last nine. And a 2-0 home win over Salford City last time out is nothing to be sniffed at. How did we do at home to Salford, eh? Like us, however, our guests are big fans of games that don’t have that many goals. Two-thirds of their fixtures have seen fewer than 2.5 goals.
So, don’t be surprised if this ends up 1-1, 1-0 to us or 1-0 to them.
Actually, it may well surprise you if we win 1-0.
Our story with Bolton Wanderers so far
New opponents, new fortunes?
Last Time Out: No previous meetings.
Who’s the referee in charge?
It’s only the second time we’ve been under Mr Finnie’s watchful gaze; the first time coming last season as we drew at home with Cambridge United. So, there’s not much we can take from his appointment really. In terms of his season so far, however, Mr Finnie is 11 games in and out have popped 32 yellow cards. There are also two red cards to his name, both of which were for Bradford players in their 2-2 draw at Forest Green back in September.
Last Meeting: Stevenage 1-1 Cambridge United, 28 September 2019
Stevenage v Bolton Wanderers: Our verdict?
It’s hard to put forward a strong case for us to win this. The current lack of goals from open play must be a massive concern. But who does that come down to? Is it asking too much of our forwards to capitalise on the half chances that fall their way? What about the midfield and their contribution? Are all our hopes pinned on Tom Pett to weave a path through the oppo defence? Until we show sure signs we can score, an opposition goal will be enough to sink us. Again. 0-1 for us.