11 November 2023

Ian Evatt enjoys Blackpool reunion as Bolton come out on top

11 November 2023

Ian Evatt called George Thomason’s stunning match winner “very special” as Bolton’s fifth straight Skybet League One victory was made in Blackpool.

Midfielder Thomason, let go by the Seasiders at 16, netted a superb 74th-minute strike to the delight of ex-Bloomfield Road favourite, Evatt, with the Tangerines beaten 1-0.

“Football throws up these stories sometimes,” said the Bolton boss who earned promotion to the Premier League during his seven-year career on the Fylde Coast.

“For a young boy to be released by Blackpool and score the winner for Bolton is something very special.

“I am very proud of him. But I am proud of them all because that was a very tough game.

“That club (Blackpool) is dear to my heart but so is this one. There is nobody happier than me that we won that game “

Bolton did not have things all their own way with Karamoko Dembele hitting a post, Matt Pennington heading wide and CJ Hamilton failing to convert James Husband’s second-half cross.

“What an advert for League One football,” enthused Evatt after a derby watched by 24,238 fans.

“I thought it was such a high-quality game, two teams that are good with and without the ball.

“I thought we shaded it, to be honest, had the better chances, and we raised the tempo second half.

“The togetherness in the group, the people they are, they are amazing. I can’t wait to get back out on the grass with them again on Monday. It excites me working with this group of players.”

Pool chief manager Neil Critchley reckoned he had been more annoyed after seeing his team win this season.

But he remained upset a potential handball by Thomason was not punished with a penalty by referee Ben Toner.

“It was a good game played between two good teams in the right spirit,” he said echoing Evatt’s words. “It took a fantastic strike from outside the box to decide it.

“I can’t fault the way we played or the effort. I have been angrier after some of the games we have won this season.

“I am disappointed to lose any game. It is a horrible feeling and with the following we had who got right behind the team you want to send them home happy.

“Performance wise though, we contributed to a good game. We knew they were in form but I thought we more than matched them.

“There wasn’t anything in it really. We just didn’t work their keeper when we created our chances.

“But For me there was a clear handball and penalty. The referee can see it, he should give it but he didn’t.

“One big decision he had to make he got it strong. You need those things to go for you in game of fine margins.”

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