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Bolton 2 City 0.

Back down to earth then. Following the highs of last weekend to the disappointment over yesterdays performance against Bolton.

I don't think I could sum up the game (or indeed current form) any better than Stuart Pearce in his post-match interview, commenting "the effort put in by the side was very good...I think, at the moment though, we need to get a little bit of consistency where we are not giving away goals to teams".

Boltons opening goal for me started when Jordan inexplicably allowed the less than nimble Kevin Davies to turn and leave him for dead out on the right before cutting the ball back into the penalty box. A nice back heel from Nolan left the defence static and allowed Borgetti to scramble home.

City preceeded to allow a couple of long range shots soon after, with one being superbly saved by James before we gifted a second goal just before the break which effectively ended the game. It appeared that Richard Dunne was in two minds as to whether to control the ball or clear it first time, resulted in the ball hitting him and setting Nolan up with a gift to make it 2-0.

In the second half I thought Riera and Sinclair were brought far more into the game, but there were too many balls being hit in hope than to a specific target - something which Bolton did very well I thought. As the game went on, we were being reduced to long range shots which barely troubled Jaskelinen.

One apsect which did puzzle me was the tactical changes Pearce made. Sibierski for Riera, and later Croft for Vassell. At the time Riera looked to be the most dangerous outlet for creating anything and why take off Vassell with less than ten minutes remaining and your side 2-0 down?

On the whole, it was a scrappy game with very few clear cut chances being created. With Bolton missing several players through African Nations cup duty, I did fancy us to get something on the back of last weeks Derby result. We defended solidly on the whole but if you gift a side two chances like that then you are going to get punished. No disputing Barton worked hard, but he lost out in the battle with Kevin Nolan, whilst Stephen Ireland had his worst game for me with some awful distribution (he wasn't the only culprit though to be fair).

A big week now ahead both on and off the pitch with Pearce hopefully reinforcing the squad with the signing of Samaras and a dominant, imposing central midfielder as the deadline approaches, before culminating in the FA Cup 4th round game at home to Wigan, who despite suffering injuries and additional cup games of late show no signs of dropping off from the levels they have shown so far this season.

Match reports:
BBC sport
MCFC homepage
Sky Sports
The Observer