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Bolton Wanderers 1 Bradford City 2

WANDERERS lost their first competitive game of the season – but what went wrong?

THINGS didn’t go according to plan in Ian Evatt’s first competitive game in charge of


– with his side falling at the first-round stage against Bradford City in the Carabao Cup.

But was it all bad? And what did we learn from the first ‘proper’ 90 minutes of the 2020/21 season?

Marc Iles lists the five top talking points.


Both goals owed much to Wanderers dropping off in defence.

Credit to Bradford for some decent football in the build-up to the first – although there was plenty of space to exploit down Bolton’s left and Novak effectively passed the ball unchallenged into the net.

The second will really stick in Ian Evatt’s craw, though, and after a deep cross from O’Connor the Wanderers’ defender had ages to track the ball, yet Pritchard somehow had a free header.

Not good enough, I’m afraid.


It’s the first game for six months, so of course everyone wanted to impress. But there was a feeling that the occasion got to some more than others.

Eoin Doyle did everything he could to get his team going – but in doing so he probably dropped too deep and left his midfielders with little to aim at. The Irishman didn’t get a proper shot at goal in 90 minutes.

He wasn’t alone and you have to hope that things will settle down.


It was all a bit messy for…

Marc Iles

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