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Bolton Wanderers 1 Barrow 0 - Ian Evatt's post-match reaction

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Shaun Miller’s 93rd minute winner against Barrow put Wanderers into the play-off places for the first time this season.

The substitute snatched three points for the second game in succession to make it five wins in a row for the upwardly mobile Whites.

Ian Evatt’s side had found it tough to break down their opponents and looked as if they would have to be content with a third straight clean sheet.

But subs Arthur Gnahoua and Nathan Delfouneso combined for Miller’s winner with virtually the last kick of the game – leaving Barrow’s players crestfallen at the final whistle.

“I must say credit to Barrow, they made it really difficult for us, got men behind the ball, their work ethic was incredible,” Evatt said after the final whistle.

“We needed that first goal and we couldn’t find a way. We had chances, opportunities, our decision making at times wasn’t great but it isn’t easy when teams are putting eight or nine men behind the ball.

“Other than the one chance they had first half I was pleased with our concentration at the back, we limited them to very little. It became wave after wave.

“You have to credit the opposition because they put in so much hard work and effort for Rob (Kelly) and he set his side up to make it really tough for us.

“I just said to the Barrow players that if they play like that for the rest of the season they will stay up and stay up comfortably.

“But, having said that, I thought we were excellent. We probed and eventually we got the one big chance. That is why we make substitutions, to get that one big chance to sniff out, and Shaun Miller did great to finish it off.”

Wanderers had a heart-in-mouth moment at 0-0 when Luke James went down in the penalty box under a challenge from MJ Williams in the 91st minute – sparking loud penalty claims from the Barrow bench.

Evatt said match referee Alan Young had reached the right decision.

“I spoke to their player afterwards and he said he’d expected the contact and that our lad has pulled out. He said he’d told the referee that it wasn’t a penalty,” he said.

“I think MJ did well to pull out of the challenge. And credit to the referee – and I haven’t said that a lot recently – but in those instances and moments he could have easily have blown up.

“But to be fair to their player he immediately held his hands up to the ref and that’s brilliant honesty and great spirit.”

Bolton move into seventh spot and are now just five points off the automatic spots.

Evatt has urged focus with two away games at Oldham and Bradford to come this week.

“We are not going to get carried away because it is not enough,” he said.

“The players are in a good place at the moment, they are really positive, confidence is high. But we are hungry for more.

“We have got to keep working and we have got two really difficult away games coming up. We’ll enjoy tonight because winning games is tough, especially when the opposition work as hard as they did, and we’ll go again Tuesday.”

Asked if it could be a defining point in the season, Evatt added: “I hope so. The two points we lost against Morecambe because of a red card, that probably evened it up today. It isn’t a coincidence that we keep scoring late goals. We probe, we have possession, and teams eventually fatigue and switch off. And we have power off the bench, which we didn’t have earlier in the season.”

Evatt also explained the absence of Marcus Maddison in the matchday squad.

“He just felt a bit poorly overnight,” he said. “Nothing to do with Covid, just a sickness bug, so we decided to leave him. He watched from the stands because he felt better but by that time it was too late so we pulled him out.”


Last edited by karlypants on Sat Feb 27 2021, 22:14; edited 1 time in total


Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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