An injury-time winner helped Bolton Wanderers beat high-flying Cheltenham Town 1-0 on 15 December

Bolton Wanderers fan describes what it was like to see his side live once again

THOUGH the vast majority of Bolton Wanderers fans will have to wait until the New Year to watch their side in action, a lucky few were able to take advantage of local links to see them win at Cheltenham Town in midweek.

Duncan Simpson, a teacher at Cheltenham College, was one of half a dozen Bolton supporters dotted around the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Tuesday night.

With the town in tier two restrictions, nearly 2,000 people were allowed into the stadium, with some tickets going on open sale.

Attending the game with his sons Craig, 12, and Rory, 10, Mr Simpson said the experience was quite unlike your usual day at the game.

“Even walking up to the game it didn’t feel like matchday,” he told The Bolton News. “Usually you see people having a pint and congregating in groups but there was none of that. There wasn’t the same buzz.

“It’s strange getting your temperature checked and being told not to talk to people.

“But once the whistle goes and the football starts you forget all that, and obviously Bolton getting a win in the end helps you enjoy your evening.”

Mr Simpson hopes January will see the reintroduction of fans at the University of Bolton Stadium – but he says people must remain patient.

“I think the one thing I would say is that fans can’t expect everything to be the same,” he said. “It won’t be exactly what they want, at least not for the time being. I sincerely hope they get back in soon because I do think we have got a part to play if we are going to be successful and get back into League One.”

Another observation made by Mr Simpson was on goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

“One thing I will say to people that have been watching on iFollow is that if you think Matt Gilks is loud on a laptop, it is something else in real life,” he said.

“It is just like having a coach on the pitch. He’s pulling people into position and telling them what to do. You could see the confidence levels rise.”

Original article 18.12.20 on the Bolton News website.

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