IAN Evatt praised Eoin Doyle following Wanderers’ 2-2 draw with Stockport County in the FA Cup first round proper.

Doyle was on target in the first half, slotting home from Lloyd Isgrove's low cross for his sixth goal of the season.

And Evatt admits there has been lots of pressure on the Irishman in recent weeks following Amadou Bakayoko’s injury struggles.

“We’re asking a lot of him at the moment because we’re trying to regather our fitness levels from the ones that have been injured,” said the Bolton boss.

“We’ve been down to bare bones at the top of the pitch and Doyler, with injuries and with knocks and bruises, has continued to put himself on the line and work tirelessly hard.

“He deserves his goal for the effort and commitment that he puts in. 

"He’s a shining example to many of our young players and it's good for him to get a goal.” 

Evatt also praised George Thomason, who has had to be patient for opportunities this season due to the Whites’ strength in midfield.

Thomason made an error in the build-up of Scott Quigley’s opening goal, but the Bolton boss was pleased with his response.

“The good thing for me from it all, even though it was a poor goal to concede and a mistake, is that he didn’t hide,” added Evatt.

“It would have been easy for a young player to go under at that point and hide from the ball, but he kept on receiving it in tight areas.

“He kept his belief and that says a lot about his character.”

Around 5,000 Stockport fans made the short journey to the UniBol for Dave Challinor’s first game in charge of the Hatters.

Evatt says it felt like “their day” and admits his side didn’t make the most of their possession in the second half.

He said: “It felt like everything was in their favour more or less, but the lads rallied themselves really well.

“We were very incisive for the two goals, got ourselves ahead, and then somehow from very little they managed to score a second goal.

“Second half, we had all of the ball, all of the possession, we just didn’t move it quickly enough and cause them enough problems.”

The result means the Whites will head to Edgeley Park for the replay in the near future, and Evatt hopes they will also take a strong following.

“I hope we do because it can really rally the team and it rallied them (Stockport) today when they were hanging on in the second half," added the Bolton boss.

"It gives the energy to the players - it gives them more energy levels and energy reserves to run that extra 10, 15 yards what’s needed to stop us from scoring.

“Hopefully we can take a similar amount of fans. I don’t know what Edgeley Park holds these days but hopefully we can sell out our away end and make things very difficult for them on the night.”