Boss Ian Evatt buzzing about ‘ultracompetitive’ Bolton after win at Cheltenham

Posted Sunday, April 24, 2022 by PA

Boss Ian Evatt buzzing about ‘ultracompetitive’ Bolton after win at Cheltenham

Ian Evatt hailed a “dominant” Bolton display after they claimed a 2-1 Sky Bet League One victory at Cheltenham.

Second-half goals from Kieran Sadlier and substitute Amadou Bakayoko were enough to seal three points for Wanderers.

“In the second half in particular I thought we dominated the game,” Evatt said.

“Overall I thought it was a very good away performance. We wanted to go on an unbeaten run and win back-to-back away games.

“We have a lot of injuries, but the team’s still ultracompetitive so we’re pleased with where we’re at.

“The most important thing is that they are together and competing for each other.”

Oladapo Afolayan was praised for his display against the Robins, who won the League Two title last season ahead of third-placed Bolton.

“Dapo was outstanding,” Evatt said. “He won the penalty and he obviously wanted to take it, but Baka’s in good form and all that’s important is we scored.

“Now there’s one big game to go at Fleetwood and (their relegation rivals) Gillingham will be expecting us to be professional about it.”

Afolayan thumped a volley wide for Bolton in the opening period and Sadlier saw an effort well saved by Scott Flinders.

At the other end, Alfie May brought out the best in on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper James Trafford after a fine through ball from Kion Etete as it remained goalless at the break.

But Sadlier opened the scoring from a tight angle in the 57th minute after good play from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, who pulled it back into his path.

Wanderers’ lead was doubled in the 76th minute when Lewis Freestone brought down Afolayan in the box and Sierra Leone international Bakayoko stepped up to convert from the penalty spot.

Cheltenham pulled one back through Aston Villa prospect Aaron Ramsey in the 89th minute to set up an exciting finish to the game, but they could not muster a leveller.

Bolton stay 10th, while Cheltenham are now guaranteed their highest ever finish despite losing in their final home game of the campaign.

Robins manager Michael Duff felt referee Neil Hair’s penalty decision was incorrect.

“We were the better team in the first half and we had good chances, which we needed to take,” Duff said.

“The penalty has been a key decision in the game and it wasn’t a penalty.

“Lewis has been fouled and the reason he fell over is because he’s been pulled down and then fallen into their lad.

“Bolton were better than us in the second half and they are a good team, but for all their good play, it was a dubious penalty and a corner that we conceded from.

“There is always a bit of a bitter taste at the end when you’ve lost, but this team has still made history this season.”


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