Richard Hammond produced a 3rd perfect month in a row with the Wanderers over the course of October. Playing 4 league games against mid table sides and a Capital One Clash between the Trotters and Bury, who had done well to knock clubs such as Everton out.
The month started off well for the Wanderers in their first game of the month versus a semi inconsistent Blackpool. Missing both Lee Chung Young
and star-man David Ngog
for this game left Hammond with a thin line in attack, especially after the early injury to Rob Hall
but Andre Moritz
came up big around the half hour mark to sink a long range free kick into the bottom corner of the net.
Andre Moritz sinks yet another free kick with his favored left foot.
The game went into the half at 1-0 in Boltons favor, with both teams suffering injuries. And Bolton looked to exploit this by using more of the ball in the 2nd half and attempting to keep it from Blackpool. Eventually Jermaine Beckford
found himself with the opportunity to double the lead and managed to do so by pouncing on the loose ball and tucking it home for his first of the season in the 82nd minute of play.
Beckford pounces on a loose ball to score his first of the season.
Bolton looked to win it 2-0 but Chris Basham
managed to hit a lovely free kick two minutes from time to give the Blackpool fans something to cheer about on the day.
Basham hits a lovely free kick, but it’s too little too late.
Bolton’s next game took them to St. Andrews to play Birmingham, and it would be Bolton’s last game with their two key players sidelined via injury. Will Keane
was handed the start for his last appearance to a lack-luster loan spell with the Wanderers before he returned to Manchester United and made the most of it around the half hour mark as he volleys home a wonderful Chris Eagles
Will Keane makes the most of his last game for the Wanderers with a crushing volley.
No one would score again until 5 minutes from time when Will Keane
picked his head up and picked out a lovely through ball for Rob Hall
to run onto and tuck past the keeper's outstretched glove.
Rob Hall places one in the upper V of the Birmingham goal.
Bolton would travel back home to Reebok Stadium to take on one of the rougher defenses in the league Sheffield Wednesdays. Bolton also saw David Ngog
and Lee Chung Young
return from injuries on the same game day to the chagrin of Wanderers fans everywhere.
Wanderers again waited until about the half hour mark before Rob Hall
continued his scoring form from last game and had his shot beat Adam Davies
to the far post and into the net. Bolton took the 1-0 lead into half time.
Rob Hall scores a wonderful goal in the 34th minute.
Hammond really must have lit a fire under the Wanderers at halftime as they came out guns blazing, putting pressure on the Wednesdays to start the 2nd half from the whistle. It wasn’t until the 58th minute that returning Lee Chung Young
managed to find the goal to double the Wanderers lead with a shot from a tight angle that Adam Davies
had nothing to say about.
Lee Chung Young scores on his return from a gashed leg.
With the Trotters firing on all cylinders it was only a matter of time before Adam Davies
Wednesdays constantly under siege keepers went from bad to terrible. David Ngog
made his injury return with an instant impact as well, managing to find a late goal in the 80th minute by tapping home his own shot that had rebounded off the upright.
Ngog turns it from win, to rout.
Seven minutes later Rob Hall found the net again to complete his brace with a lovely effort past the red faced Davies
and fully humiliate the traveling team.
Rob Hall scores his 2nd of the game and his 3rd of the season.
Playing again in Reebok stadium this time against Ipswich, who Bolton had beaten 4-2 earlier this season in a Capital One Cup game. Things got off to a flying start for Bolton when David Ngog
pounced on a defensive error to score the 10th goal of his season into an open net after being rejected by the keeper moments earlier, for his second lucky goal in as many games.
Ngog has had a stellar season thus for under Richard Hammond, who would have guessed?
Bolton fell back and were forced to defend for the remainder of the half after Ipswich found another gear. With the half closing at 1-0 things were looking fairly even with the difference being the returning David Ngog
. In the second half, things didn’t much change with a large amount of the battle being waged in midfield players like Franco Zuculini
and Jay Spearing
were forced to come up big for the team, retaining the ball when the Wanderers had it, and showing a bit of the teeth when they were forced to fight for.
Things became very nervous for Richard Hammond and any Bolton fan watching in the 71st minute when the ref gave a penalty for what he judge to be Tim Ream
handling the ball on the edge of the box. However, Adam Bogdan
came up huge for the Wanderers, making the save and 2 more before the team was able to clear the danger.
Adam Bogdan makes a huge stop for Bolton.
With the save made, Bolton found a new spirit and got into the attacking side of the pitch more often but were unable to add to their lead and the game finished out a dramatic 1-0 thanks to David Ngog
Boltons final game of the month saw them travel to Gigg Lane to take on League 2 over achievers Bury, who’d scalped Crewe, Everton (on penalties) and Walsall on their cup run so far. Hammond opted to rest David Ngog
and play Craig Davies
who has recently forced his way onto the transfer lists at the Reebok Stadium citing low playing time for his reasons.
Hammond also rested a number of other key players, including Jay Spearing
His gamble in playing Craig Davies
payed off in the 16th minute of the game when the welsh international struck the only goal of the game off a corner kick from in close.
Davies is left with a simple job after a superb cross from the corner.
Hammond again brought home the manager of the month award for another perfect month. After which he says, “nothing can stop this team. The spirit we have here is incredible. We are a team resurgent. We don’t even care about the burden of debt. The players know they play for more than money here, they play for a badge. They play for a club. They play for each other. Even the lads that want out, like Craig, (Davies) are welcomed into our starting 11 and perform like they belong there. It’s a great place to be at a great time.”
Next months fixtures
Bolton have a light month next month with a long international break in the middle, however, and a large number of Trotters involved for their nations it’s likely to provide little respite to a weary team.
Player of the Month
for this month and last month, forgot to award it to him last month.
Andre Moritz has been in blistering form for the Wanderers, picking up the attacking line when both Lee Chung Young and David Ngog were out injured. He’s topping the assists chart in the league with 8, (10 overall) and I doubt Ngog would be scoring as much as he is without Moritz and his heads up passing awareness with the ball at his feet. He is the spring in the Bolton counter attack, making tackles high up the pitch and immediately looking to play into either winger or the striker. The Brazilian is bringing a level of excitement back into the Bolton squad in his first year with the squad.