Ian Watts on our Next Opponents- Bolton Wanderers.
After a cracking attacking performance that certainly left the Macclesfield manager with more questions about his side for the coming season than the man in charge of County, the team now move on to a game against newly promoted EFL Championship side Bolton Wanderers.
So far the pre-season games have proved a pleasant respite to the Wanderers fans from the off-pitch trials and tribulations. Their financial issues seem never ending, what with failing to pay players' promotion bonuses on time, followed by a recent winding up petition from the Inland Revenue - both issues apparently now sorted according to press reports. At times you don't need to look too hard to see that throwing money after the Premier League millions is often a foolish business plan.
I said they had given their fans respite but that came to an end on Saturday, as Bolton lost for the first time this season. To date despite not always impressing they had enough to win games in England and Scotland, generally using 20 or more players each game. On Saturday they used a smaller pool of players, and the following men were beaten 2-0 at Fleetwood Town.
Mark Howard,, Stephen Darby -, David Wheater -, Mark Beevers -, Dorian Dervite -, Andrew Taylor -, Jem Karacan -, Josh Vela -, Will Buckley -, Sammy Ameobi -, Gary Madine -. SUBS used: Adam Armstrong, Adam Le Fondre, Derik, Darren Pratley.
Fans sites generally put the defeat down to the choice of a formation that was new to the players and that did not suit their best positions or skills. In general it appeared that the attack under-performed - so perhaps the one name in their line-up who has worn the County colours may be back in the starting XI on Tuesday. Having said that, Fleetwood recognised the danger when Alfie came on and nullified it by employing a determined man-marking policy giving him no openings.
|Adam La Fondre.|
Adam Le Fondre (SCAN 1167) hails from Offerton and joined County at age 14. His debut came in a LDV Vans Trophy match in September 2004 when he came off the bench and scored to help the Hatters to a 3-1 extra time victory over visitors Bury. He went on to score 5 times in 22 first team appearances that season. Whilst never appearing to be able to establish himself as one of the first names on the team sheet
Adam went on to accumulate over 70 games (around 60%from the bench) over three seasons of first team football. Sold to Rochdale in the summer of 2007, he had earlier had a loan spell at Spotland. He made good progress and a pattern of spending three seasons at clubs followed with Dale, Rotherham and Reading. . At the latter he became one of the illustrious list of men who have started at County and gone on to play in the top-flight of English football. The Royals may have lasted only for the one season but Adam made a contribution scoring 12 goals in 11+23 apps. His most recent three season spell had officially been with Cardiff City, but they have shown little willingness to play him as he has had lengthy loan spells at Bolton, Wolves, Wigan and Bolton again. Now 30 Adam will be hoping this summer's switch to Wanderers will finally find his parent club willing to give him games.
The Bolton players will probably be smarting after their defeat so there will be plenty to test the County back line but no doubt the Wanderers defenders will have to earn their wages dealing with the cock-a-hoop Hatters forwards.