04 November 2023

Bolton brew up enjoyable evening for Ian Evatt after first FA Cup win

04 November 2023

Ian Evatt described his first FA Cup managerial success as “strange but nice” as Bolton hammered home the 48-place difference between the League One club and their National League visitors Solihull Moors.

Evatt had lost five times in the competition with Bolton and previously as boss of Barrow.

But the visitors, who had skipper Jamey Osborne sent off in injury time, were swamped by the third tier’s third-placed side who scored through Ricardo Santos, Paris Maghoma, Will Forrester and Dion Charles. Top scorer Charles also had a penalty saved by Tommy Simkin.

“I am delighted the monkey is off my back,” said a relieved Evatt. “I can have a cup of tea now and enjoy Match of the Day for once.

“The message to the players was we didn’t want to be headline news. We didn’t want to feel embarrassed, we wanted to show everyone what we can do.”

Evatt, who last enjoyed success in the competition as a Chesterfield player in 2016, added: “It has been annoying because It’s not as though I have deliberately changed the team and not taken it seriously.

“I am fortunate I have had a lot of success early on as a manager: two promotions, a cup win (Papa John’s Trophy) and play-offs. But this has been one box I have not ticked.

“People talk about ‘the league is our bread and butter’ – that’s just nonsense, the players want to play football and want to win.

“We want to win consistently and if that’s in the FA Cup we will take it seriously.

“This game was all about attitude. We spoke how this game would show me where they are as a group, what their mindset is like. They showed me they are in a good place.”

Moors manager Andy Whing, booked by referee Scott Simpson in stoppage time for protesting at Osborne’s dismissal, said: “Bolton are a very good team. I was really impressed with them.

“It’s not as though they constantly carved us open. We were better than we have been in the last two or three weeks in terms of creating more chances.

“However, I am gutted. I don’t like losing football matches whether it’s against a Premier League side or against Biggleswade. But I am proud of the players at the same time.

“It’s a game of football you want to win but Bolton are some team, with a fantastic manager and coaching staff. Hopefully they go up this season.

“I thought we created some great chances, especially at 2-0, but they were straight at the goalkeeper.”

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