United are back in Abbey action for the first time in what feels like ages, as noted purveyors of ‘Total Football’ Bolton Wanderers come to town. Both teams are struggling for goals at the moment, although Bolton are enjoying life a little bit more, currently sitting sixth in the table.
Mark Bonner is attracting interest from other clubs again, with Luton and Wigan both looking for a new manager, but his focus will be firmly on picking a starting 11 from our injury depleted squad on Saturday. Harrison Dunk should be back, but Dimi Mitov, Adam May, Liam O’Neil and Fejiri Okenabirhie remain sidelined.
Expected U’s Line-Up: Mannion, Okedina, Jones, Rossi, Dunk, Simper, Digby, Brophy, Knibbs, Smith, Ironside
Who’s In The Dugout: Having previously managed the Netherlands to the World Cup Final in 1974 Ian Rinus Michels Evatt spent the next forty-six years refining his Total Football philosophy before pitching up at Bolton in 2020, where he found instant success by finishing third in League Two behind Cheltenham and Cambridge.
Who’s Their Player To Watch? They’ve got a few, with striker Dion Charles the most likely to hurt United. At the back Captain Ricardo Santos has always been a formidable opponent and difficult to beat.
What’s Their Recent Form Like? Won two, Lost two, Drawn one of the last five
Any Ex-United Players? Part of the lockdown legends team, Jack Iredale quietly arrived from Carlisle before making himself an indispensable part of the U’s side over the next two seasons. An attacking left-back with an eye for goal, Jack also played on the wing and in central defence during his time at the Abbey, and was a popular player amongst the U’s faithful.
Last Time Out: Bolton 2-0 United, 1st February 2022
A fairly forgettable defeat from earlier this year.
A Matchday Album To Listen To: Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork
Ignore the nauseating artwork for a minute, but Dry Cleaning are back with an excellent followup to their debut New Long Leg, discovering an expanded sonic palate as the band hit top gear.
From The Archive: United 1-3 Bolton, 29 January 2000
We should probably get over this, shouldn’t we? Trevor Benjamin gave United the lead in this FA Cup fifth round encounter, before being cynically fouled when through on goal by Mike Whitlow. By far and away the greatest injustice ever to have happened in football, we’ve never forgiven Whitlow or shitbag ref John Brandwood since.