WANDERERS allowed a 3-1 lead to slip at Wimbledon when it should have been game, set and match.

Ian Evatt’s side had gone behind early on as Will Nightingale headed unmarked past Joel Dixon – who was in for Matt Gilks.

Eoin Doyle levelled from the spot almost instantly after Dapo Afolayan had been felled by keeper Nikola Tzanev.

Wanderers then took a commanding lead as Josh Sheehan finished a superb move down the right to score his second goal in as many league games, then Afolayan crashed home Amadou Bakayoko’s cross at the far post.

Doyle was then denied at close range by Tzanev, what would have been the fourth, before Wimbledon launched a comeback.

Sub Aaron Pressley scored from the spot after Ricardo Santos was adjudged to have fouled Ayoub Assal, then a minute later another replacement, Dapo Mebude, cut in from the left to curl a wonderful shot home inside the far post.

Evatt was in no doubt that his side should have wrapped up the points.

“We should have won the game,” he said. “It is hard to be too harsh on them because we are still finding ourselves, our fitness. You can see the ones who carried Covid, they are suffering, and at 3-1 it should be game over. We had a massive chance too, so it should have been game over.

“Two minutes of absolute madness cost us the game.”

Asked if his team should have had better game management, the Bolton boss admitted a hip injury to Declan John ended up costing his team dearly.

“We were trying to manage the game by controlling possession but Declan was carrying an injury and tried to play on, then he didn’t track his runner at 3-2 and it gives them a huge lift,” he said.

“Then for five minutes we were mentally gone and it affected us. That can’t be allowed to happen.

“Once it got to 3-3 we regathered ourselves and looked the more likely again. It was composure, game management maybe, but there was still 20 minutes left.

“The good thing is that we have got goals in us. I know that when we get back to our normal selves we’ll keep the back door shut more.

“People moaned about the 1-0 wins last season, now they are moaning about epic games.

“There is a long way to go but I think we look a pretty good team.”

It is the first time since 2000 that a Bolton team has scored three goals or more in successive league games, after the 4-1 win at Crawley in May and last weekend's 3-3 draw with MK Dons.