Match day, a feeling I hadn’t had in a while, knowing I was going to be playing 90 minutes. I was a bit nervy, because Bolton were bringing a strong side with some first year pros. We had a full strength side out bar the Apprentices that were involved with the reserves. We did a very light weights session in the morning, Just technique work. Then it was pre match mealtime. Kick off came around at 2pm and before the game I was beginning to get quite nervous, however as usual the second I stepped out on the pitch the nerves went away. I was in action within 30 seconds having to deal with a back pass and I dealt with it really well. After that I knew I was going to have a good game. We matched Bolton in the first half. I only remember having one notable save to make. A low shot to my right at the near post, but I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t dealt with it. It was mainly crosses and back passes I had to save and I did really well with them. Bolton used the ball really well and kept possession, which was key as the conditions were very difficult for chasing the ball in, well into the late 20’s l and had a lad playing just behind the front two who was making clever late runs into the box. But Ciaron Barton and Mark Bloxham dealt with him very well. We went in at half time 0-0 knowing we had done well.
The second half we seemed to go off the pace a little bit. I was forced into making a smart stop early on when the Bolton striker came through one on one. I managed to stand him up until the defence came back into position and when he did shoot I managed to make the block with my thigh and the defence tidied the rest up. There was another worrying situation. Bolton’s left-winger got past our right back, and fired a cross shot across the goal. I did really well to get down to my left to claim the ball as bodies were coming in. One of them being Mark Bloxham who left me a nice boot mark across my chest! We managed to hold out until we conceded a sloppy goal with about 10-minutes left. Ray Shearwood knocked the ball out of play for a corner when he could of easily given me the back pass. The corner was initially cleared but the ball went back out to the corner taker who fizzed a low cross in to an unmarked player at the back post who tapped in from a yard. In injury time a long ball was played through and our left back Chris Rodgers hadn’t squeezed up and played the Bolton striker onside, he had all the time an the world and finished well by rounding me and putting the ball in the empty net. The whistle blew shortly after this, and although we lost I was very pleased with my performance. I left after the game looking forward to my first day of college and a day off to relax the next day.