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Bolton fully deserving of last-gasp victory at Fleetwood, says Ian Evatt

Ian Evatt was pleased with his side’s late comeback (Richard Sellers/PA)
Ian Evatt was pleased with his side’s late comeback (Richard Sellers/PA)

Ian Evatt insists that his Bolton side’s 2-1 victory at Fleetwood was fully deserved, despite needing two goals at the death to pull off a remarkable turnaround.

Wanderers had looked like leaving empty-handed when they trailed to Carlos Mendes Gomes’ startling first-half goal.

But Conor Bradley equalised in the 85th minute before Oladapo Afolayan hit the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to ensure his manager enjoyed a happy 41st birthday.

“I thought we were excellent,” said Evatt. “We completely controlled the game and dominated it. The goal was massively against the run of play and it was an excellent finish from a good player.

“But I’m pleased with the way we kept on probing, the way we stuck to our principles and the way we constantly asked questions. Yes, we missed chances, we all know the scoreline flattered them today.

“But it was the mindset and the mentality of the players to not feel sorry for themselves, to get the ball back, stay positive, and eventually we got exactly what we deserved.

“Today was about the result and the performance and I thought the performance was excellent. Sometimes you get what you deserve, sometimes you don’t, and it was a very good birthday present.

“The players have massive amounts of belief – and I’m not short of that either – and we work really hard on our mindset and our ability to focus on the things that we can affect.

“The expectancy at this club is huge and players have to block that out when things aren’t going so well and keep believing in what we’re trying to do. We kept knocking at the door and eventually we blew the house down.”

Fleetwood boss Scott Brown was devastated that his players lost the game in such dramatic fashion after applying themselves so admirably in the face of waves of Bolton pressure.

And he feels the Cod Army need to get back to playing with belief in their own abilities if they are to see games out in the future.

“I thought for the first 85 minutes the lads did really well, the last 10 minutes was really sloppy,” he said. “Our understanding of the game plan and the marking in the box is a bit disappointing.

“It’s individual errors that cost us today, but you can never fault their effort, that was exceptional, and we played some really good football.

“We created chances and we looked a threat on the counter, so for us it’s disappointing to be leading 1-0 in the 85th minute and lose. But you know what momentum is like in football.

“You’ve got to be able to stop that and deal with it. And you’ve got to take responsibility on the pitch and in the last 10 minutes we didn’t do that.

“As soon as the first one went in we thought we needed to get the ball higher up the park and keep it there, play the game, get throw-ins and slow the game down by killing their momentum. We played into their hands and let them come forward with the ball.

“For 85 minutes there were a lot of positives, but it’s like they don’t believe they can hold teams off, so we need to get our composure back.”