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Players 'certain' they got ref justice against MK Dons

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Players 'certain' they got ref justice against MK Dons 12877874

Wanderers’ dressing room insists they were hard done by in Saturday’s 3-3 draw against MK Dons.

Though Alex Baptiste rescued a point with a 95th minute leveller, talk after the game centred on two big refereeing decisions that could have tipped the game in Bolton’s favour.

Antoni Sarcevic twice appealed for a penalty in the first half only to be turned down by referee Martin Coy.

And the County Durham official also waved away Josh Sheehan’s appeal for a foul seconds before Hiram Boateng broke to score MK Dons’ third goal of the day, with just six minutes left on the clock.

Sarcevic’s second penalty appeal was the strongest, although Ian Evatt maintained that Sheehan’s pass to the Bolton skipper should probably have gone elsewhere.

“Yeah, I don’t think we made the best decision with playing Sarce in, but Sarce is certain it was a penalty,” the manager said.

“I thought the pass probably to Doyler was the more obvious one but Josh chose Sarce, and Sarce got there to be fair to him, and he is certain it was a penalty. We didn’t get it but that’s life I guess.”

On Sheehan’s ‘foul’ 30 yards from the MK goal, Evatt added: “I only speak and ask my players and they are genuinely really honest. Josh is certain it was a foul, but it is what it is. We got ourselves back in the game and that’s the most important thing.”

Speaking after the final whistle, Evatt had been disappointed with his side’s defending at times but felt his team were well worthy of a point, having created the better chances.

“I hate to say I told you so but I did say that it would be very even in terms of possession,” he said. “Both teams are used to dominating possession. Today, I don’t know what it was, but I would guess it was around 50-50.

“I thought we had the better of the opportunities. We just didn’t quite take them and we conceded three really soft goals, which leaves a bit of a bitter taste but we’ve got a lot of football to be played this season. And we have got off to a better start than we did last year.”

More than 16,000 fans packed into the UniBol and though both sides appeared to be affected at times by the noise and atmosphere inside the stadium after 18 months of playing behind closed doors, Evatt reckons the crowd played its part in the final five minutes.

“I think that game was always going to be that way,” he said. “I thought it was going to be open, there was going to be goals in it and it was who took advantage of the better opportunities and we didn’t quite take them, even though we scored three and that’s crazy to say.

“We could have and should have, especially first half with the instances we created, should have got more but football’s nothing without its fans. The atmosphere was fantastic. I think it lifted our players in the last five minutes to get them equalising. It was a game we didn’t deserve to lose and we got something out of it, which was important.”

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