Declan John & Marlon Fossey’s key role in Bolton’s win vs Gillingham as glimpse into future given

The drifting in to more central areas of Declan John and Marlon Fossey helped pose questions to Gillingham as Bolton Wanderers returned to winning ways in style.

Wanderers took the lead at Priestfield in the first half thanks to a brilliant strike from Aaron Morley for his first goal as a Bolton player.

The Gills went down to 10 men midway through the second half when Daniel Phillips was shown a second yellow card.

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And Wanderers capitalized with the extra man with goals from Declan John and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson before full-time in a scoreline where Bolton could have won by a much greater margin.

The wing-backs of John and Fossey played a big part in the encounter, with the former scoring and potentially having another in the second half, while the latter notched two assists.

And against the Kent side, the pair did not stay as wide as they previously have been since the switch to wing-backs, but came in centrally more in a bid to affect play, which worked a treat.

Evatt believes that it is something that Wanderers went to work more on in the weeks to come with more time on the training pitch.

He said: “If you noticed today our wing-backs traditionally would have been staying wide because we haven’t had a chance to coach, but now there’s that rotation as well where our 10 is drifting wide and our wing-back is taking in central pockets.

“I think in the second half, Dec found himself in the middle of the box a lot and that’s something that we want to work on. We want that fluidity, we want that rotation, because it becomes difficult to play against.

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“If you’re predictable and you’re playing straight lines, opposition can set up against you, but once you start moving and rotating and you have that freedom and fluency, it’s challenging and I thought we posed them a lot of questions today. ”

Morley’s strike came from an overload on the right flank as MJ Williams worked his way into that area to find Fossey, who in turn teed up the former Rochdale midfielder for the opener.

Evatt believes getting the first goal was crucial against the Gills which broke the spirit of the hosts and that they found it difficult to chase down Wanderers when they were able to recover the ball quickly after losing it.

And the only negative for Evatt was that the margin of the victory at Priestfield was not a greater one.

He said: “We created the overload and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to move the opposition side to side to create overloads and then once we’ve got it one side, switch it quickly to the other side and then overloads there and punish and we did that with the first goal and one or two other moments as well.”

“The way these play, they’re never out of the game because of the nature of the set plays and long throws, but the key points are that we got the first goal so they didn’t have anything to hang on to and I just thought we broke their spirit a bit with our control in possession.

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“It’s difficult when you’re chasing the ball for 90 minutes and when they did recover the ball and try and attack, our counterpress was fantastic so I was pleased all round today really, apart from the fact that we didn’t score more goals .”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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