21 October 2023

Ian Evatt happy but sees things to work on as Bolton beat Northampton

21 October 2023

Bolton boss Ian Evatt revealed Randell Williams saved himself an ear-bashing from team-mates by scoring the decisive goal in Wanderers’ mixed-bag display as they beat Northampton 2-1.

Williams scored for the first time since last February while the former Exeter and Hull player’s shot also led to Northern Ireland international Dion Charles opening Bolton’s account.

Sam Hoskins’ sixth goal of the campaign midway through the second half gave Town an unlikely sniff of a point, leaving both managers frustrated.

“It is a good job Randell did score,” said Evatt as Bolton climbed to fourth, albeit five points outside the top two.

“Had he rolled it across the face there were three strikers waiting to tap it in. They wouldn’t have been too happy (had he not scored).

“But credit to Randell, he finished it off well. For the first goal Dion sniffed the chance but Randell was in a good position taking the shot which we know he can do.”

Two-nil up in 16 minutes, the home side failed to capitalise as Evatt recognised.

“The first half was as good as we have played this season,” he said. “Some of our approach play was excellent.

“So, when we smell blood we need to finish the game off because 2-0 is a funny scoreline.

“We have to develop a ruthless streak but we are only going to get that stage by learning.

“All the messages we gave at half-time went out of the window because of the way we started and it spread throughout the team.

“We were loose and kept turning over the ball. It wasn’t just one player it was everybody.

“They got a momentum and there was a feel of nerves. We go back into ‘see the game out mode’ which isn’t really us.”

Town boss Jon Brady was left to rue his team’s poor start.

“Overall, it was frustrating we didn’t get a point from the game,” he said. “But you cannot start like we started against a high-quality side like Bolton.

“We were disjointed in the way we pressed but it was not meant to be that way.

“We came out of holes and they picked us off quite easily. It was too easy to get through both goals.

“It meant I had to make changes at half-time because I couldn’t accept the way we were playing. I felt the changes made a big difference.

“In the second half, it showed we can be competitive and the way we can play .

“You can credit them and Bolton play good football but we made it way too easy for them and that was the disappointing thing.”

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