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Stevenage boss Evans bemoans decision during Bolton stalemate

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Stevenage boss Evans bemoans decision during Bolton stalemate 17917521

Stevenage boss Steve Evans felt Eoin Toal was fortunate not to be sent off during his side's goalless draw against Wanderers.

Jamie Reid thought he had been fouled by the Northern Irish defender as he was bearing down on goal in the second half, but referee Sam Allison waved play to continue.

Will Forrester had earlier headed against the crossbar, while Ben Thompson missed a big chance for the hosts at the other end.

“I thought we went toe-to-toe with a really good side,” Evans said after the final whistle. “They are a terrific side, you see the options they have got not only in the starting XI but off the bench.

“I was hesitant to make changes because the longer the game went, I thought we could catch them and score.

“What I will take away from this game is remembering how good a side Bolton are and what a job Ian has done.

“I will go away wondering why a player doesn’t get sent off when Jamie Reid is through on goal.

“I will also be thinking that we should win the game through Tommo’s chance but, in fairness to Ben, he was superb throughout the afternoon. It was a point hard-earned.”

Kyle Dempsey, who played under Evans at Gillingham, came off the bench in the second half and went close with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

“They brought Bodvarsson and Dempsey off the bench – and I know what Dempsey is about – but if any team deserved to win, we did,” Evans insisted.

“But that doesn’t take away from Bolton, they are still in with a real chance under Ian of automatic promotion.”

He added: “They have a tremendous back three. Big Santos is probably the best central defender in the league along with (Carl) Pierganni, but he will go away knowing he has had a tough game today.

“We are not going away unhappy, it’s a point. Could it have been three? One wonders what would have happened if they went down to 10 men. I am not saying any more, it’s an apology on its way.”

The Stevenage chief began his playing career at Wanderers and the club still holds a place in his heart.

“The first thing I recognised when I came out was how good the home and away supporters were,” he said.

“I started at Bolton Wanderers as an apprentice and still keep in touch with people. You never forget where you started and I have always had an affinity for Bolton.

“I thought the fans were tremendous, but I think they went a bit quiet with 10 minutes to go unless they got a little breakaway.

“The Stevenage fans have been tremendous, they turned up in numbers and saw their team compete with Bolton Wanderers and go toe-to-toe.”


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