IAN Evatt admitted that too many of his players shirked their responsibilities as the pressure built around their promotion decider against Exeter City.

Pierce Sweeney’s 95th minute header gave the Grecians victory to prolong their play-off hopes to the final week.

But for Bolton – who had hundreds of expectant fans in party mood outside the stadium – a limp second-half display gave the manager cause for concern.

“There were too many below par,” Ian Evatt said after the game. “Too many went into their shell second half and they looked out on their feet. Maybe that was the emotion of the game, the expectancy, I don’t know, we just weren’t ourselves.

“We got the early goal, which is exactly what we needed to do, but we just stopped doing what was getting us to those positions. Whether that was fear, I don’t know, but we were very disappointed, obviously.

“I thought second half we ducked it, if I am being honest. Too many players were hiding, not wanting the ball in tight areas, too many just happy to hang on to what we had and that’s not us. It is not what we want to do.

“Yes, we’d want to win 1-0 but we don’t stop attacking, we don’t stop showing for the ball as we did in that second half.

“But having said all that, we still have a chance to win next Saturday and get ourselves promoted.

“It is a huge positive still being in our own hands, huge, but we can’t rely on other teams we have to get the job done. We have to go and win the game at Crawley, there is no reason we can’t but we must play better than we did today.”

Wanderers knew a win would send them up but after Morecambe beat Walsall, their lead in the automatic promotion spots has once again been whittled down to a point.

When Randell Williams equalised Gethin Jones’ early strike after the restart, Evatt admitted his team lost their poise.

“There was no complacency – it was fear and nerves,” he said. “The expectation, the emotion of it all, we looked drained and tired.

“We knew second half they were going to have a real good go at us and it was about staying calm and defending our box, taking our moments going forward.

“We conceded after three minutes of the second half, I think, and that just gave them a huge lift.”