Traore Magic as Boro Blast Bolton
By Rob Nichols
Sunday 10 Sep 2017 10:27:00
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Boro fans celebrated the first away win of the season and first in over a year of league football as Bolton were defeated 3-0 at the Macron Stadium. It was a scrappy first half lit up by one incredible run and cross by Traore but after the break Boro clicked into gear and romped home. We saw the true Britt with 2 goals that might easily have been a hat trick and Marvin Johnson marked his debut with the third. Manager Garry Monk gave us a wave and it felt like the start of something.

Another big travelling army made their way over the Pennines on a day when the weather switched back and forth between brilliant sunshine and almost violent showers. That unsettled weather continued through the match itself and might have contributed to a stilted first half.

Garry Monk had made several notable changes to the team that disappointed against Preston before the international break. The horrendous injury to Rudy Gestede (get well soon) forced a rethink up front, where Britt Assombalonga led the line himself with Lewis Baker tasked to get in the box as often as possible.

Downing and Traore came in to start, with the old faithful pairing of Leadbitter and Clayton restored to control midfield behind them. Fabio dropped back to replace Friend. No place yet for new signings Shotton and Johnson, they would have to settle for places on the bench alongside Patrick Bamford. All change then.

For Bolton, the Redcar Rock, David Wheater returned to defence and as you would expect he proved a formidable opponent . The Trotters were able to field free transfer signing Craig Noone, the only player Phil Parkinson was allowed to sign under the strict transfer embargo and 23 maximum squad size imposed by the EFL.

Bolton probably created more of the chances in the first half and not for the first time this season Boro did have to be thankful to the services of spring-footed keeper, Darren Randolph. But it was Adama Traore that lit up play. Just like the Chumbawamba anthem he got knocked down but he got up again to tear his way past the entire left side of the Bolton defence before cracking over a superb cross that Britt Assombalonga headed home for close range. Wonderful and formidable play.

Traore had once again been electric off the mark but he combined that with superb close control and quick feet. When blocked off he showed that he has the strength and agility to immediately regain his feet and then the ball. Like lightning he would react to dart and dance between defenders feet before hitting the byeline and sending over the perfect cross. So exciting and devastating as well.

It would be after the break that Boro really settled into their stride. It was the Leadbitter of old that seized the midfield with Adam Clayton, while Stewart Downing showed all his experience and class by passing and stroking the ball around and between the Bolton defenders.

Adama Traore did the damage again when he stampeded past the defence before pulling the ball back for Britt to stab it home. It was a potent and winning combination.

Stewart Downing was accorded a deserved ovation as Garry Monk was able to make changes ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Villa. Stewy, the hard-working Lewis Baker and the outstanding Traore were all brought off to be replaced by Marvin Johnson, Patrick Bamford and Ashley Fletcher.

Johnson made an immediate impact, working the ball well and constantly looking to raid down the left. He cut inside and shot from distance surprising the Bolton keeper at his near post. The first goal scoring debut of the season.

Britt Assombalonga had two glorious chances for a hat trick but was denied by keeper, Alnwick. Britt only seems to deal in braces, long may it continue. The powerful striker seemed to revel in the role of being up front on his own and providing the all-important finishing touches.

The Boro fans had enjoyed a superb day out beneath Winter Hill. The team really clicked into gear in that second half. The players that didn’t get away at the transfer window all proved that they are going to be worth their weight in gold this season. Alongside Ben Gibson, Dael Fry continues to look more and more composed. It was vintage Downing and Leadbitter. Both unpicked Bolton whereas Traore just destroyed them.

Every time Traore got the ball there was a sharp intake of breath from both sets of fans. He is so exciting as he turns and surges away from defenders and leaves them trailing in his wake. Previous to this game it was down to the failings of the forwards that he didn’t have a long list of assists to his name. Britt put that stat right, emphatically.

All the first half grumbling was buried by that second half performance and the Boro fans asked long and hard for Garry Monk to give us a wave. The manager eventually heard and lifted his hand. These little moments can often turn out to be momentous in the long run.

Six league games into the season, something significant clicked together on and off the field at Bolton. We need to build on that at another struggling side, Aston Villa. It is game on now for Boro. #Up The Boro

Bolton Wanderers 0-3 Boro – scorers Britt (2), Marvin Johnson

 



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