IAN Evatt challenged his players to ‘finish the job’ after carving out a crucial victory on their promotion path at Morecambe.

Ben Jackson grabbed the winner at the Mazuma Stadium as Wanderers put themselves within one win of a return to League One.

Morecambe had Kelvin Mellor sent off in the first half after he lashed out at Dapo Afolayan – but Bolton made hard work of it, and after spurning a hatful of chances they were indebted to Matt Gilks for a late save and Alex Baptiste for a goal-line clearance at the bitter end.

“I just said to them there, ‘I don’t know whether to give you a hug or a slap. We are better than that and we have to make our lives easier, my life easier,” said the Wanderers boss.

“Having said that, I am so proud of them. This isn’t an easy place to come, and they have been on an amazing run.

“Obviously going down to 10 men makes it easier for us but it doesn’t really change the way they play. They sit men behind the ball, play direct, play for set pieces and counter-attack, so it didn’t really affect the game too much.

“We have done what we needed to do, so great, now hopefully we can finish the job off at the UniBol.”

On the late drama, when Toumani Diagouraga’s shot was scrambled off the line and Liam McAlinden’s effort saved by Gilks, Evatt added: “That is the problem when you don’t kill the game off, you are liable for that one moment, and that was their one moment.

“Luckily for us we have got an outstanding goalkeeper and an outstanding centre half that read the danger.

“Maybe I am being hypercritical, I don’t know, but we got the job done.”

Jackson was brought into the starting line up for the first time since February because Declan John failed to overcome a dead leg.

His goal could prove Wanderers’ most important of the season – and his performance delighted Evatt.

“I am so pleased for the kid,” he said. “To be thrown in at 19 years of age in such a huge game. He stood up for us and he had an outstanding game.”

On the sending off, Evatt said Carl Boyeson reached the right decision. And the Wanderers boss said he felt sympathy for Dapo Afolayan, who was substituted at the break after picking up a first-half booking.

“The lad just reacted,” he said. “Teams just seem to target Dapo and it’s because he is an excellent player. At half time he was really upset about me taking him off and I shouldn’t have to – but teams are targeting him and when he got the yellow card you were just scared to death that the referee was going to even it up and we couldn’t take that risk.”