Bolton’s youngsters earn Wanderers’ first point of the season in heroic draw that will live long in the memory.
After another turbulent week for Bolton Wanderers off the pitch, it was a relief for many to have a football match to attend at the end of it all and what a match it turned out to be.
An absolutely immense performance from a Wanderers team with an average age of just 19-years-old saw the club earn its first point of the new season against Coventry City in front of a hugely passionate crowd.
It’s a match that will go down in history for the 8,900 fans who attended the UniBol on a thoroughly soaking Saturday afternoon and quite rightly so.
While Wanderers’ opening day defeat at Wycombe saw a glimmer of hope emerge for the club, it was all but extinguished on Thursday afternoon when the news broke that Laurence Bassini had acquired a court order preventing the sale of the club.
Despite the low mood around the place on Friday morning, the second tickets for the Coventry game went on sale, properly this time, a sense of optimism began to return.
Regardless of the short notice, and scepticism over the team that would be on show, thousands of fans poured to the stadium and ventured online to purchase tickets for a game that felt like a lost cause just 48 hours before its kick-off.
Matters were made worse when it emerged that Bolton’s five ‘senior’ players had refused to play, leaving Bolton’s academy youngsters to fill-up the depleted squad.
The lowest average-aged team in the history of Bolton Wanderers, and one of our youngest ever captains in @harry_brockbank 🙌🏻
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) August 10, 2019
Even though many fans would have travelled to the stadium on Saturday expecting a gracious defeat, the performance and the end result offered up way more than we ever thought possible at this stage of the season.
The youngest team ever to grace League One and the youngest team in Bolton’s 145-year history gave the almost 9,000 attending fans a show to remember.
The desire and heart on show from every player who took to the field on Saturday was unparalleled in the club’s recent history.
Not only that, but the football on show was a breath of fresh air too as Bolton’s youngsters were far calmer and composed on the ball than any of Bolton’s so-called senior players during the last season’s doomed campaign.
Granted, going forwards, Bolton were somewhat toothless against Coventry but the defensive efforts made up for that in spades as the young Wanderers battled hard, with the help of some excellent offside calls, to keep the scoreline goalless in what has to be the best 0-0 a lot of Bolton’s fans will have ever seen.
Pride in our team
The reception that the rain-soaked fans gave at full-time to the heroic performance from their team will surely stick with the youngsters who gave their all against Coventry.
Despite Wanderers clinging to a single point, the cheer at full-time rivalled that of any FA Cup-winning side.
It just goes to show how much love there is for this great club and it was a privilege to have witnessed the hopeful rebirth of our beloved Bolton Wanderers.
Hopefully, the next week can see Bolton’s off-field takeover issues finally put to rest, although we remain sceptical, and we can finally kick-on with our season in real earnest.