Ian Evatt hails ‘excellent’ strikers after Bolton blow away Harrogate in FA Cup

By Sports Desk December 02, 2023

Bolton boss Ian Evatt is amazed by the goalscoring potential of his side after they strolled to a 5-1 win against Harrogate in the FA Cup second round.

After resting his first-choice front two of Dion Charles and Victor Adeboyejo, he saw replacement Jon Dadi Bodvarsson crash a first-half hat-trick and Dan Nlundulu add another two shortly after half-time.

That means Bolton have now scored 104 goals in 2023, levelling a club record that has stood since unchallenged since 1934.

“The two centre-forwards were excellent, they were the biggest plus of the day by miles,” he said.

“We made changes today but I have massive faith in the two of them, they are excellent players, and I thought at times today they were completely unplayable.

“Jon will probably get the headlines for the hat-trick but Dan was excellent, his work outside the penalty box was really pleasing too.

“We have got a very good group of strikers at this club and there are goals in every single one of them.”

Aside from Bodvarsson’s and Nlundulu’s goalscoring exploits, Evatt was nonplussed about his side’s performance overall.

Bolton had kept seven straight clean sheets in all competitions leading into the game, equalling a club record from 1900, but George Thomson’s strike before the break sent the counter back to zero.

“I’m not trying to nitpick,” he said. “But I thought overall it was OK. Nothing spectacular.

“I am happy with the result, happy we are through, but I thought we were a bit loose.

“We were sloppy at times and can be better. I was really disappointed with that goal because we wanted the record as our own, it was a really silly one to give away and I think it was coming at the time because we’d made some poor errors at times.”

League Two club Harrogate provided pockets of resistance but manager Simon Weaver was left feeling shortchanged by the performance.

“You have got to raise your game against top-end League One opposition,” he said. “Bolton are very strong, they have a great squad and I am sure they will be a Championship club next season. But I expected a lot more from our team. I thought we fell short and didn’t really lay a glove on them this afternoon.

“We weren’t without our opportunities. Other than the goal, we had plenty of opportunities to seize the moment and take advantage of, but we didn’t.

“There was maybe a lack of belief in the final third. But that takes a bit more poise, a bit more confidence and people grabbing the moment like Tommo did for his fine finish. Defensively, it was a shambles at times. Conceding five goals by 55 minutes it a source of great embarrassment.”

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