IAN Evatt felt a moment of class from Eoin Doyle was all that Wanderers needed to settle a crucial victory in the promotion race at Forest Green.

The Irishman’s 16th goal of the season – a sweetly-struck half-voiley from Nathan Delfouneso’s right-wing cross – was enough to put Bolton into the automatic promotion places for the first time.

Depending on results this afternoon, the top-three stay may be temporary but Bolton have now won 11 of their last 13 games and are the in-form team in all four divisions.

Evatt felt his team were worth the three points.

“It was a huge three points,” he said. “It was a challenging game between two good teams, a game of chess, really.

“It was a game with few chances and the one big one we did create Eoin Doyle showed exactly why we have him. It was a brilliant finish.”

Neither side were able to create many clear-cut chances, although Forest Green did get into some good positions in the first half only for their final ball to let them down.

The hosts were rocked early on with the loss of top-scorer Jamille Matt, who suffered a horrific hand injury after colliding with Bolton defender Ricardo Santos.

Kyle Wilson forced Matt Gilks into a save at his near post with Rovers’ best chance of the game before Doyle’s fine piece of opportunism on 39 minutes sealed the points.

“It was a good combination, Nathan got down the wing and put in a great cross and it was a great finish,” Evatt said.

“These big games, the tight ones, are almost always sealed with a bit of quality and that finish from Eoin was definitely a bit of quality.

“It was definitely a game of few opportunities and I think the opportunities they had in the first half were more because of our slip-ups rather than their good play.

“We recover well, recover fast and our transitions are good. I was delighted because the whole team has to defend away from home against a team that challenges you. We found solutions on and off the ball and that is important.”

Evatt had brought George Thomason in for Lloyd Isgrove from the start in his only change to the side that beat Walsall last time out.

“The type of game and the way it was going to be I felt we needed the extra midfield player and George did great, he ran his socks off, ran into the ground,” he said.

The Bolton boss also brought goalkeeper Lukas Jensen on to his bench for the first time, explaining: “I said just because I don’t do it doesn’t mean I never will,” he said. “These big games, where there is a six-point swing, the reward is bigger than the risk.”

Wanderers’ stay in the top three may only be momentary, depending on results elsewhere, but the momentum is building towards a serious automatic promotion tilt.

“It feels good but unless we are there on May 8 I am not going to be happy, and that is what matters. We have given ourselves a fantastic chance with another hard-fought victory but we have nine more cup finals to come,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what other teams do – and it is hard to say this – but if we carry on doing what we are doing, nobody can stop us.

“We will enjoy this, enjoy tonight, then regroup and go again tomorrow.”