We examine some of the talking points from the Whites’ trip to Holker Street.
1 – OFFSIDE OR NOT?
Ian Evatt was livid after the final whistle, claiming that referee Peter Wright and his assistants had not spotted a clear offside for Barrow’s third goal of the night.
Replays from iFollow don’t back up his argument well, showing Alex Baptsite seemingly dropping two or three yards behind the rest of the back three to play Dior Angus onside.
Was it a trick of the camera angle, or had Baptiste been caught out?
2 – SLOW STARTERS.
Wanderers have scored first in just one game this season, playing catch-up against everyone barring Harrogate. On this occasion they had shot themselves in the foot twice in the opening four minutes.
Offering up such freebies to the opposition is bound to take a mental toll. Mistakes happen and the best teams are able to shrug them off but enough of them over time will leave lasting effects.
Wanderers raised their tempo after going 2-0 down, and then went again after Barrow’s third. But why should it take falling behind in a game for them to show the sort of fighting attitude that Evatt is demanding?
3 – DOYLE ON THE MARK.
Nothing was more frustrating than watching Eoin Doyle hunting for the ball near his own half-way line on Saturday, desperately trying to manufacture an opportunity.
If Wanderers’ second goal of the night shows nothing, it is that with the right service, he is clinical.
A lovely flowing move, which showed that Bolton can indeed play expansive football when they want to, was finished off with a fine header from the Irishman.
Peter Kioso’s endeavour on the right wing has opened up some new opportunities for Wanderers and the impending return of Lloyd Isgrove can only be a good thing for Doyle, too.
4- PETER PERFECT.
There were a few raised eyebrows among the Wanderers fans when Evatt proclaimed the arrival of the Luton loanee as a coup 24 hours before deadline day.
Kioso had not played a lot of football in the EFL and was not first choice at Kenilworth Road – despite getting a glowing reference from manager Nathan Jones.
His two performances thus far have been hugely encouraging, however, and the full-back has not only supplied width and a steady stream of crosses, he also popped up with a well-taken goal to get Bolton back into the contest on Tuesday night.
5 – ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.
Ian Evatt tore into his players after the Oldham defeat, and in seeing his words in print, possibly regretted it. But if character was in doubt before the Barrow game, the head coach will have enjoyed much more about his side’s second-half display at Holker Street.
Wanderers controlled possession and ground their hosts down to get an equalising goal. It was not a vintage performance, nor was it packed with goalscoring opportunities, but few can argue they were worthy of a share of the points.
It is clear that standards still have to improve. In midfield, Sarcevic was excellent in the second half but Brandon Comley continues to underwhelm. The former Colchester man did not waste the ball - which was a big step up on the Oldham game - but gave away several fouls around the penalty box which put his side under unnecessary pressure.
Elsewhere there was more food for thought - Harry Brockbank’s switch to left-back did not appear to work out, nor the introduction of Baptiste on the right side of the defensive three.
And Ronan Darcy’s introduction 10 minutes from the end added a well-timed boost of energy, the youngster doing as much as anyone in the final stages to keep Barrow pinned in their own penalty box.
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