The Reds reserves battled through to take all three points from Bolton last night. It was very much a game of two halves but the Reds never looked like losing after taking an early lead. An excellent performance in the first half was littered with poor shooting whilst the second half was frankly dull.
The Reds gave Daniel Agger another run out for the reserves and he played for the scheduled hour in this one. The big difference between this game and the one last week was certainly the crowd. About one tenth of last weeks crowd braved the dropping temperatures at Warrington. That said the crowd still exceeded the 1100 mark which is far more than they were getting over the past few years at Wrexham.
Bolton got the game started on what looked a patchy pitch. The one worry I had always had with the ground when we chose it was that the rugby league side wouldn't do us many favours and it was already a bit bobbly and patchy.
The Reds settled down quite quickly and Agger was certainly testing out his long range passing from the first whistle. After just nine minutes the Reds piled the pressure on. The Reds were a bit lucky in the build up that the ball fell kindly for them. It was pushed right to Ryan Flynn who put the ball across the six yard area only for it to be cleared for a corner. Jay Spearing whipped the corner ball in which hit the near post and went out for another corner. The third corner which the Reds won as a result was half cleared by Bolton but quickly put back in to the danger area. Agger set up Flynn who shot from the edge of the box only to see the keeper save with his feet.
The Reds took a deserved lead on thirteen minutes through Nemeth but it was all down to Putterill. The move started deep in the Reds' own half. Insua played the ball to Plessis who in turn set Putterill free. He raced at the Bolton defence and jinked his way in to the box before squaring the ball for Nemeth to bag yet another goal for the Reds.
The first half was all Liverpool after this other than a rare Bolton attack. One such attack mid way through the half did see them have a shot at Peter Gulacsi but it was wide and went nearer to the ball boys than the keeper.
As a result of the Reds' dominance they had chances but they certainly hadn't packed there shooting boots on the night with some of it looking more like kids stuff at times. I know that probably sounds harsh and the pitch didn't help but...
On twenty three minutes Agger set Putterill free down the left again. He crossed to Flynn who set Spearing on the edge of the box where he was taken down. The free kick saw Nemeth blast just wide of the right hand post.
On twenty six minutes the Reds went really close to scoring when Flynn was set up just inside the box and a great shot to the bottom corner was just turned away for a corner by the Bolton keeper. Jordy Brouwer then headed over from the resulting corner.
A minute later and Damien Plessis showed why he doesn't shoot very often when he fired a shot that was of more danger to the nearby Tesco than the goal. He had a quality game though so I can let him off.
Just after the half hour mark Nemeth played a neat one two with Spearing but his shot was more of a pass to the keeper. A few minutes later and it was Insua who basically passed a shot to the keeper as well. It was then the turn of Nemeth again who after a neat flick which I'm not sure if he meant set him free but again the shot was weak and poor.
Four minutes before the break and Brouwer was set clear by Nemeth but a lack of pace allowed the defender to get back before Brouwer scooped a shot over the bar. I'd like to think a goal would do the lad good but he just doesn't look like he has it in him.
The Reds went really close in first half stoppage time when Agger found Putterill with a long range ball. The Reds winger cut inside and beat the keeper with a shot only to find a man on the line block it and then Brouwer sent the ball over the bar.
The second half wasn't exactly memorable. There were goals to be had for the Reds but for some reason they just didn't play.
Damien Plessis was nearly taken out of the game five minutes in to the half when Thompson went crashing through him after he had played the ball. There were some thoughts of a red card but it was just a yellow showed by the ref. Plessis had treatment on the sidelines and thankfully came back on.
The Reds got away with a poor second half mainly due to the fact that Bolton were so poor. They obviously are at the bottom of the table for a reason.
They did go close on the hour when Gulacsi was forced to save at his post with his feet. Just after that the Reds brought on Ronald Huth for Daniel Agger. The only problem ultimately for Agger was that the game at his end was so easy it was hardly great for match fitness.
Ryan Crowther replaced Flynn on seventy two minutes but didn't really get in to the game much although did put one good ball across the box shortly after coming on.
It's a measure of how the game was going if I say that the subs are the only notes I continued to make in the game really.
The one worry as time went on for the Reds was that with only a one goal lead just one decent attack from Bolton could end the game in a draw. They did win a series of late corners but in the main the Reds were comfortable with them.
After three added minutes of time though the ref blew for time and the Reds went eight points clear at the top of the table.
MotM : Damien Plessis - a real strong performance from the youngster who has settled really well this season and with continued performances like this is certainly one for the future. Ray Putterill also looked really dangerous in the game but didn't have the same impact in the second half.