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Bolton's dress rehearsal goes according to plan at Posh

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YOU cannot fail to be impressed with Wanderers’ resilience when all around them seems to be so chaotic.
Putting it mildly, very little has gone right this summer. And the disorder would have been the undoing of lesser characters than Phil Parkinson and his battle-hardened squad.
Even hours before this final dress rehearsal for the Championship season, a financial dispute between the club and its catering partner, Heathcote & Co, was being played out in glorious Technicolor in the public arena.

But, once again, Parkinson and his players have shown the value of focusing on what they can affect – and even though they go into the season unfancied, you don’t get the feeling they give a fig.
Victory over Peterborough was settled by two moments of consummate quality. Adam Le Fondre’s precision and Sammy Ameobi’s raw power were wonderful to watch in equal measure.
Star of the show, however, was a player who might just have inherited the mantle of unheralded hero.
Jason Lowe has played more minutes than any other player in pre-season and had not let himself down at all after signing on a free transfer. At the ABAX Stadium, however, his precise distribution and perfect positioning stood out a country mile.
Wanderers fans love a hard worker and with more performances of this ilk, they will quickly take the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder to their hearts.

Parkinson had said his starting line-up would closely resemble that which he intended to play at West Brom and perhaps the only downside of the afternoon was a slight hamstring injury picked up by Clayton Donaldson with about 20 minutes to go.
Being realistic, Wanderers’ squad still lacks the depth to believe it could challenge in the top half of the table. Whether it lacks the quality might depend on what Ken Anderson can add over the next four weeks.
Northern Ireland international Josh Magennis should give Parkinson some of the muscle and bravery he has been seeking up front and if they can lever full-back Antonee Robinson back from Everton on loan, there are only a few gaps left to fill.

The midweek defeat at non-league Guiseley had rang alarms bells for some – even though Parkinson quickly brushed off its significance. This was a more structured and solid display which gave a lot more hope the team can evolve from the one which struggled for the entire of last season at the wrong end of the table.
Ample evidence was given in the build-up to the first goal. Lowe’s crisp pass to find Yanic Wildschut on the edge of the box put Posh on their heels, and when the Dutchman angled a pass in for Le Fondre, his trusty right foot met the pass with a sweet kiss to send the ball arrowing into the bottom corner.
Le Fondre played just off Donaldson in a 4-2-3-1, departing from the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 Parkinson has used for much of the summer.
The wide men could play a big part this year for Bolton and though Craig Noone had looked the stand-out player to date, he and Will Buckley had to be content with a place on the bench at Peterborough as Yanic Wildschut and Sammy Ameobi were given license to push on.

Wildschut has shown in flashes what a talent he possesses, and his searing pace will be a potent weapon this season. By his own admission, however, the Dutchman has still to find his match sharpness after so long on the side-lines at Norwich City.
Ameobi has had a decent summer since signing a two-year extension at Bolton and came up with a thunderbolt to make it 2-0 midway through the first half. Such was the power on the shot, the ball bounced off the bar and back on to the line twice before nestling into the net and even brought a ripple of applause from the home supporters.

Peterborough threatened sporadically, Jason Cummings bringing one save out of Ben Alnwick at his near post and Siriki Dembele going on some mazy runs which suggest he could be one to watch this season.
It was comfortable for the Bolton back four, however, in which new boy Pawel Olkowski seems to have settled down very well indeed.
Things slowed a bit in the second half, Wanderers holding their shape and ensuring they had a clean sheet to end their summer preparations.
Donaldson went close to a third with a clever flick at the near post and sub Noone was denied by keeper Aaron Chapman after a slick turn from a short corner.
All in all, it was a nice note on which to end a chaotic summer.
Parkinson still has plenty of work to do to add that extra layer of quality needed and he is certainly knowledgeable enough to know his team will need to find even more to get a result at the Hawthorns next weekend.
But this was one for the positive column and a reminder that out of chaos can come order, if you have the right person doing the sorting.

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Nice.  :clap:

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