Bolton triumphed in the FA Cup third round at the weekend with a 5-2 victory over Walsall, but where on Earth did that emphatic win come from?
Bolton have suffered one of their worst seasons on record so far this year. Their league form has been shaky all season long and Phil Parkinson’s side had just come off the back of a 6-0 drumming at the hands of Hull prior to Saturday’s FA Cup clash.
At half-time Bolton were trailing 1-0 and looked as nervy as they had done all season.
But then, in one half of football, Bolton scored five goals to secure a much needed win over League One Walsall.
A record-setting day for Bolton
It turned out to be quite the record-setting game for Bolton. In just 29 second-half minutes, Wanderers scored the same number of goals as in their last 11 home matches combined.
Clayton Donaldson scored his first for Wanderers while Josh Magennis netted an impressive hat-trick. The last Bolton player to score a hat-trick was Joe Mason, against Rotherham in 2014.
It’s also the first time Bolton have won from a losing position since August 2017, a League Cup tie against Crewe.
It’s not often that the Trotters score so freely. The last time Bolton managed five goals in one game was away at Leeds in 2014 when Dougie Freedman was still at the helm. Further on that train of thought, Bolton last scored five in one half against Swindon in 1997.
Late on in the game, youth team protege Luca Connell made his senior debut for the club. Aged just 17, he’s the first player to represent Bolton having been born after the turn of the Millennium.
It wasn’t all positive records being re-written for Bolton though.
The attendance of only 5,506 is the lowest for a third round home game since the second world war.
Where did that win come from?
There’s no easy answer to just how Bolton found themselves scoring five in one half.
Were Parkinson’s half-time substitutions really that effective? Was it the change in formation to to 4-4-2 that helped Bolton score so many? Was it just the fact Wanderers were up against League One opposition?
But however they managed it, Phil Parkinson will surely be hoping his side can repeat the same scoring form for the rest of season.