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MATCH REACTION: Ian Evatt on Bolton's 1-0 defeat at Newport County

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt admitted Wanderers were their own worst enemies as their fine recent form came to a halt at Newport County.

Nicky Maynard scored the decisive goal in an action-packed game at Rodney Parade – leaving the Bolton boss to rue a hatful of missed opportunities for his own side.

Evatt drew plenty from the performance, insisting it was much improved on the goalless Good Friday draw at home to Colchester United.

But he admitted wayward finishing was ultimately responsible for his side’s first defeat since January.

“I’m frustrated really, the lads deserved to win the game,” he said. “We should have been out of sight at half-time.

“I think that in front of goal and creativity, everything we spoke about since Friday, the lads took it onboard and we’ve created not just one or two, but three, four, five golden opportunities that we have to take and then we should be out of sight and then it should be game over.

“For whatever reason, the football gods weren’t smiling on us today because they’ve had a free kick which wasn’t handball and then a ricochet off Rico, no danger, deflects and then Gillo has to make a save.

“The rebound fell straight to their striker and it’s 1-0 and you’re chasing the game again. I’ve just said to them they can’t be too downbeat because that was a much better performance than Friday.

“We have to remember Newport have been in the top five or six all season and we’ve completely dominated, especially first half and should have been out of sight.” Wanderers felt they had drawn level with virtually the last kick as Alex Baptiste’s header was scrambled off the line and follow-ups from Eoin Doyle and George Thomason were blocked.

“Number one, we should score,” Evatt said. “We shouldn’t allow the keeper to make a save but that’s another opportunity that we’ve missed.

“But then the referee asks the goalkeeper if it’s over the line or not, which I’m astonished by because I’d be amazed if my keeper I said ‘yes it was’, even though I ask my players to be honest.

“We can’t get too downbeat. We’re disappointed more with Friday than today, and I know we’ve lost the game today, but we didn’t deserve to lose the game and when you perform like that, nine times out of 10, you’ll get what you deserve and there isn’t anyone that watched that game today that would say we didn’t deserve to win it.”

Wanderers drop to fourth, behind Tranmere by virtue of goals scored, with Harrogate next up at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Results elsewhere once again proved favourable to the Whites but Evatt maintains there will still be twists and turns ahead.

“For everyone that thought we were just going to cruise over the line with no mishap or worry, it wasn’t ever going to be the case,” he said. “It’s not the way football is and sometimes football teaches you harsh lessons and our harsh lessons today are you have to take your gilt-edged opportunities and we haven’t done that.”


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