Bolton need ‘miracle’ for automatic promotion after Shrewsbury draw – Ian Evatt

By Sports Desk April 16, 2024

Ian Evatt believes Bolton need a “miracle” to gain automatic promotion after being held to a 2-2 Sky Bet League One draw by lowly Shrewsbury.

Wanderers twice came from behind to earn a point thanks to Paris Maghoma’s 71st-minute equaliser.

However, the Trotters are three points behind second-placed Derby with both sides having two games left but with the Rams boasting a superior goal difference.

“It is not over,” sighed Evatt. “But it is five football matches in our eyes now.

“If a miracle happens then so be it. But it is five matches to win and this team is more than capable of that.

“If we can do it at Wembley (in the play-offs), people will enjoy themselves. The time to analyse what has happened and gone wrong isn’t now.

“For now we just focus on winning five more games. It is possible (to gain automatic promotion) but we have to be realistic.

“Derby have a fantastic chance of sealing the deal on Saturday.

“Our general performance was good but we conceded sloppy goals at one end and didn’t take our chances at the other.

“There is frustration and disappointment for a number of reasons. It is a game we should have won.

“But we have said that too many times where we have lost key personnel which makes a difference.”

Shrewsbury are still not safe from relegation but shrugged off their worries to cause Wanderers problems, particularly in the first half.

Dan Udoh fired Town in front after 21 minutes, only for veteran striker Cameron Jerome’s first goal for Bolton to level four minutes from half-time.

Jordan Shipley restored Town’s lead with a stunning low left-footed drive two minutes later.

Ex-Shrewsbury loanee Nat Ogbeta missed a great chance to equalise early in the second half before Maghoma eventually saved face for the home side.

“Although we were ahead twice, it would be a bit greedy to not be pleased with the point,” said Town manager Paul Hurst.

“I am delighted with the players’ commitment to what we asked them to do.

“We knew we would have long spells without the ball. Bolton are an excellent team in possession and cause you lots of problems.

“The way we set up is one thing but the players have to carry that out.

“At the same time, certainly first half, we also carried a threat and caused them problems and caused anxiety within the stadium which is again what we spoke about.

“A point is a great result but we want to try and go to Charlton and see if we can take care of our business then it is over.

“If we don’t get something, we still don’t know our fate.”

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