Bolton Wanderers lost 2-0 to Wycombe Wanderers on their opening fixture in League One.
I’ve been reporting on Bolton all summer, and the financial problems that made them a doubt for even starting this season. We obviously had no owners and have been trying to get that sorted all summer. We’ve had players that haven’t been paid in months who have had no other option other than to walk away from the club. This put us in massive doubts to even start the season. News broke that a take over was due to happen and we had to wait over three weeks to hear any developments.
Players ended up going on strike and we even lost some of our most valued senior squad members like David Wheater. It was also revealed that Josh Magennis had refused to travel for the game because of all the payment issues. Despite rumours that the team had been paid the morning of this match. So naturally, going into this game, we were the underdogs.
Starting Line Up
The squad consisted of Remi Matthews, Jason Lowe who captained the inexperienced team, Luke Murphy, Erhun Oztumer, James Weir, Harry Brockbank, Dennis Politic, Liam Edwards, Yoan Zouma, Josh Earl and Eddie Brown. With only one friendly played in pre-season due to strikes, this side would have needed to pull off a miracle to win.
As well as the team being a problem, the kit was also facing issues. We didn’t have the money to partner with anyone to have a kit designed. The day before this game, it was revealed that we would have a Hummel kit going forward and that Bolton would have ongoing discussions with them to provide the kit for the rest of the season. For the time being, coping with just one kit was the plan.
As we got to Wycombe, this news that our kit could possibly cause problems was announced. Apparently, there was a cause for concern that our kit clashed with Wycombe’s home kit.
So as well as the team consisting of youngsters and players who hadn’t had much of a pre-season campaign, our only kit may have clashed with our opponents.
Fortunately, the game went ahead with the players in the kit they planned on playing in. Bolton fans sold out their end of the ground and were as loud as ever in supporting these men. The players and management even acknowledged their support and thanked them.
Checking the score at half time was something I was dreading. I expected about 2-0 at that point. To everyone’s surprise, these lads had managed to get to the halfway mark with a draw, 0-0.
Unfortunately, their efforts were ended in the second half as we lost 2-0. However, these lads should be so proud. They went into this game expected to do a lot worse. Bolton fans I have spoken to have had nothing but good things to say about this squad. They might have lost but what they’ve accomplished as a team in the hardest time the clubs faced is inspiring.
I’m not hopeful for the rest of the season although I certainly am proud of the players that have had to step up and also, credit to Phil Parkinson for keeping these lads going even though they’ve all been going through the worst times.