The key takeaways from Wanderers' 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham

The key takeaways from Wanderers' 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham
The key takeaways from Wanderers' 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham

Wanderers' win streak in League One came to an end following a late 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham on a night to forget at Whaddon Road.

Ryan Broom scored the winner three minutes from time, keeping his cool to slot past James Trafford after getting on the end of Dan Nlundulu's pass.

Ian Evatt’s men remain in the top six but missed a chance to close the gap on some of the sides above them in the table.

Trafford maintains high standards

James Trafford can count himself very unlucky to be on the losing side after another impressive display.

The Manchester City loanee made several important contributions – most notably a heroic stop to keep out Lewis Freestone’s header during the second half.

Trafford seems to keep getting better and better and is quickly building a reputation as one of the best shot stoppers in League One.

He remains joint-top for clean sheets at this early stage along with Michael Cooper, David Stockdale and Christian Walton.

Lack of threat in attack

Wanderers have proved they are capable of great things in the final third under Evatt but failed to register a single shot on target against the Robins.

The Bolton boss predicted in his pre-match press conference it might be difficult to control the game as they did against Lincoln due to the narrow pitch at Whaddon Road.

The Whites still had plenty of the ball but failed to make it count against a stubborn Cheltenham defence.

Evatt’s men have generally been harder to beat this season but seem to be having less joy in attack, having scored 13 goals in 11 league matches so far.

Bradley’s quality missed

The Whites seemed to miss Conor Bradley’s threat going forward. The Liverpool loanee can cause defenders countless problems with his direct running and knack for getting in the right place to score.

However, Evatt’s decision to rest the youngster is understandable given the amount of football he has played since arriving at the UniBol.

Of course, Gethin Jones is capable of playing in the wing-back role and was a tad unlucky not to get an assist during the first half after delivering a wicked cross.

Evatt and company will be hoping the decision pays off in the long-term ahead of another difficult away fixture against Forest Green at the weekend.

Could away form cost Wanderers?

The Whites have now won one of their opening five league matches on the road since the start of the campaign – a 2-0 victory at MK Dons last month.

Ahead of the trip to Whaddon Road, Evatt claimed his side’s results on the road will “define” the coming season.

This was arguably the case last term, averaging 1.9 points per game at the UniBol compared to 1.3 points away from home.

Wanderers will be keen to make sure that trend doesn’t continue as they aim to push for a place near the top of the League One table come May.