Alright, here's how I saw it.
The ref had a complete shocker but thankfully he was equally woeful for both teams. We were both denied a stonewall penalty in the second half and he flashed so many cards I thought I was watching a Poker Tournament. However for the first time all season it didn't kill us and it didn't take the starch out of the lads spines. I'll come to the players in a minute but I want to touch briefly on Neil Lennon. I thought he got the selection just about right today, of course there wasn't a lot of choice but the team was probably the best 11 we could start with under the circumstances. And it was an absolute joy to see his reaction when we scored and at the final whistle. He hasn't looked that happy and that animated since he first got here and I'm hoping this game has reignited the passion for the game we all know he has.
Now onto the match. It was dire in large parts, really poor and scrappy as befitted two teams in the bottom half of the table playing a local derby. There was lots of passion, plenty of commitment and no one gave an inch but there was very little skill on show especially in the first half. On our side Clough looked like our only real threat, Madine looked a bit lost and flustered when he was in front of goal and his off the ball running was more of a headless chicken impression than any kind of space creator. Rhodes was (imo) unusually poor, I've seen him play a few times and this was the worst performance I've seen from the Rovers man. He seems to be having confidence issues much like those Elmander had under Megson. The defences were mostly solid when called on but nothing really exciting happened in the first 45 minutes.
The 2nd half was much the same for the most part but with two subtle and (imo) very important differences. I understand Wheater was given MOTM by Sky, I agree, the man was a rock and Rhodes basically bounced off him as did the rest of the Blackburn front line and midfield. Amos was also solid apart from when he booted a clearance into our own man (slight palpitations there) and deserved the luck when the ball came back off the post into his arms in stoppage time (Very near heart failure and despair when that span past him followed by me thinking God has decided it's our day after all). In fact the Trotters defence was the best I've seen so far this season. It got a bit scrambled in our box when Rovers were chucking the kitchen sink at us but in all honesty other than the handball (which the ref missed thankfully) and the deflection off the post Blackburn never really looked like scoring. Whenever there was danger a white shirt was throwing itself into the fray with more fight and commitment than I've seen in a while. All our players threw their hearts and bodies into today's game, I can't pick out a man who wasn't giving maximum effort for every second he was on the pitch.
Madine's goal was a beauty imo. Sure it broke kindly but the shot itself was neatly placed and on balance we just about deserved to be in the lead. I felt a bit sorry for Clough who scuffed one into the side netting because his endeavour probably deserved a goal but thankfully it didn't matter in the end. We should have had a penalty ourselves but I'm not going to complain about it now because it really only balanced things out and in truth, since it was 0-0 when they were denied I think we benefitted more from the ref's failures.
This wasn't a match to tell your grandkids about but it didn't matter. What really matters is we got the win, we finally broke the awful streak that's gone on for far too long and we finally had some luck ON the field that might help us all deal with the off field stuff a little better.
In conclusion I'm not claiming we've turned a corner or are about to become invincible but this IS a big day for BWFC and it could turn out to be pivotal. If we do somehow survive relegation then come May I would fully expect people to look back to this match and say "That's where it changed for Bolton, that was where the turnaround in their fortunes began."
Sometimes it's not so much HOW you get the result that matters, just getting it is the catalyst we need to kick on and do better. I hope this is such a moment but as I'm sure others will point out it's too early to say. We'll only really know how important today is when the season is over but right now it's like seeing the first crack of dawn at the end of a much too long, far too dark night.