In quotes: Bolton v Port Vale

The final word on Wanderers' victory over the Valiants as rounds up manager, player and local press post-match reaction

Three goals in the space of nine first half minutes saw Wanderers extend their winning run to six matches courtesy of victory over Port Vale on Saturday.

Rounding up the manager, player and local press' post-match reaction alike, offers the final word on the match... 

How saw it...
Wanderers made it six wins on the spin in all competitions with a 3-1 victory over Port Vale at Macron Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Phil Parkinson’s men made their mark early on in the clash, with Zach Clough opening the scoring with a thunderous effort from 20 yards inside seven minutes while Josh Vela doubled Bolton’s advantage just five minutes later when firing home halfway inside the area.

The dream start continued for the Trotters, with Lawrie Wilson’s unstoppable volley from 30 yards in the 16th minute leaving the Vale keeper with absolutely no chance.

The visitors did pull a goal back with 16 minutes remaining through Sam Hart who nodded home from close range, but it proved to be scant consolation at the final whistle as the Whites ran out comfortable winners.

I think a performance like this has been coming for a while. We’ve been playing really well and thought that it was only a matter of time before we could score a few goals. 

We're delighted with the attacking football on display. We got the three very quickly and then couldn’t quite add to them, but the performance was full of quality, high intensity and really mirrors the week's training efforts.

It’s really nice to get on the score-sheet. I usually get about one goal a year and they seem to be not too bad.

I do like getting forward and it helps everyone when the whole team contributes and takes the pressure off certain players.

We have to keep going, keep ticking the games off and hopefully keep ticking the wins off. 

It was important to get that victory ahead of the FA Cup game because we can now look at that table and be happy with where we stand.

Saturday afternoon, five to three, and there is a collective intake of breath when the Macron’s match announcer reveals inspirational captain Jay Spearing is not on the team-sheet.

There are obviously too many voices around the Macron to pick out any individual comment but the tone is one of worry. How would Wanderers cope without a player who has been their beating heart for the last few months?

The answer provided was succinct, and for nine minutes the football pure fantasy.

It doesn’t matter that this is League One, or that Port Vale amounted to a very ordinary opponent on the day, the movement, execution and passion shown at that point in time was as satisfying as anything this team has produced in recent memory.

Goals from Zach Clough, Josh Vela then Lawrie Wilson put the game beyond sight. And with 74 minutes remaining, it was ridiculous to ask the Whites to maintain those standards until the end.

Numerous chances to extend the lead were missed and Port Vale somehow got themselves on the scoresheet.

That's Halloween sorted then. Bruno Ribeiro can replay Saturday's game while his players watch through their fingers. If you see 18 players advancing up your street with a DVD player, I really wouldn't answer the door.

In isolation, a 3-1 defeat at a Bolton side who were on their way to second place in the table and a sixth straight victory, is nothing to get too upset about. After all, Sam Hart's 75th minute header is the only goal an impressive Wanderers side have conceded in those six matches.

But Vale's performance at the Macron Stadium left their 1,100 travelling supporters understandably aghast because they started so badly that this was over at 3.16pm when Lawrie Wilson smashed the ball home from 20 yards to leave Ribeiro's side 3-0 down.

Vale won't face many, if any, tougher tasks than Bolton away this season. But that shouldn't disguise the fact that the Valiants have been making life far too easy for opponents with unconvincing, jittery first-half performances.

They need to start frightening the opposition and stop doing it to their own fans.

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Read Time: 4 mins