12 August 2023

Ian Evatt warns League One rivals Bolton have more to come after Cheltenham win

12 August 2023

Ian Evatt warned the rest of League One there is much more to come from his Bolton Wanderers side after their impressive 3-0 win at Cheltenham Town.

Dion Charles scored twice, along with an own goal from Liam Smith during a one-sided first half at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.

The result puts Bolton top of the table with two wins from two, along with a Carabao Cup first round victory, making it seven unanswered goals this season for Evatt’s men.

“The weight of expectation is with us this season and it’s a really solid start, but I think there’s loads more to come,” Evatt said.

“It looks like we’re a lot more creative this season and are more of a threat. We have more athleticism, speed and dynamism.

“This group is very talented, but we aren’t going to get carried away because it’s only August so we’ll keep working hard.”

Charles’ opener arrived in the 15th minute after a clever ball from Victor Adeboyejo set him up to slot confidently past Luke Southwood.

Southwood dived to catch Randell Williams’ header two minutes later and Kyle Dempsey curled one just wide as Wanderers continued to dominate.

It was 2-0 after half an hour when a free-kick from Aaron Morley was whipped towards the near post and Liam Smith deflected it into his own net.

Charles added his second and Wanderers’ third with a fine curling finish in the 33rd minute, giving Southwood no chance.

“Some of our build up play was as good as you’ll see and I think we had another gear,” Evatt said.

“I thought Dion and Victor were superb. It’s really important that strikers get off the mark, but the way they play the goals will always come.

“It’s an exciting group to work with, but this result is parked and now it’s on to Tuesday (Fleetwood Town at home).”

Morley forced Southwood into another save 10 minutes into the second half before Cheltenham’s penalty appeals were waved away two minutes later when Rob Street went down in the box.

Lewis Freestone’s header from Liam Sercombe’s corner was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Nathan Baxter in the 79th minute and Street forced another save in the final seconds, but Wanderers comfortably made it three wins from three in all competitions to send their 1,486 travelling fans home happy.

Cheltenham boss Wade Elliott admitted his side lost their way during the opening 45 minutes after a promising start.

“It was a tough one and the goals were soft from our point of view,” Elliott said. “For 15 minutes, we got on the front foot and had a go.

“Their first goal knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit and obviously the game got away from us by half time.

“We stuck at it and kept going, showing a little bit of grit and character and kept pushing at the end even when in reality the game was beyond us.”

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