WANDERERS’ winless streak in League One was stretched to five games after a disappointing second-half display at Portsmouth.

Ian Evatt’s side looked to have the edge after 45 promising minutes at Fratton Park, playing against a side which had struggled to live up to its billing in League One this season.

But after John Marquis snatched a messy opening goal for the home side, Bolton simply had no effective answers to get themselves back on level terms.

Wanderers had the better of the first half and came closest to opening the scoring when Dapo Afolayan hit a dipping shot from 25 yards which was tipped on to the crossbar by Gavin Bazuna.

Declan John also struck the woodwork after darting past Mahlon Romeo and driving a shot towards the near post.

Otherwise, Pompey’s moments were sparse. Ronan Curtis headed wide early on after Reeco Hackett had pinched the ball from Elias Kachunga on the line.

And Hackett also out-witted Ricardo Santos 15 minutes in to stand a cross up for Ronan Curtis, which was headed wide.

Nearly half of the goals Wanderers had conceded this season arrived in the first 20 minutes, and once the team had got over that hump, they started to seize control of the game.

Will Aimson had been brought in for his first league start for the Whites in place of George Johnston and while his early defending caught the eye, he will also feel unlucky not to have won a penalty after getting in a tangle with Shaun Williams.

With the home crowd starting to show their frustration the signs were looking pretty good for Bolton but within six minutes of the restart the whole mood of the game flipped on its head.

Pompey took the lead with as scrappy a goal as you are ever likely to see. Isgrove was beaten too easily by Curtis, whose cross was scuffed up in the air by Marquis, his shot bouncing off the glove of Dixon and the crossbar before spinning over the line.

And that signalled a complete transformation in the home side, who were suddenly bubbling with ideas.

Dixon made a good block to deny Marquis a second after a slip from Aimson and Santos cleared whilst lying down on the ground after a farcical penalty box scramble with 20 minutes to go.

Evatt had few attacking options on his bench and after sending on Josh Sheehan for Nathan Delfouneso could do little other than replace like for like.

Wanderers were struggling to regain their earlier momentum, the attacking tempo slowed to a crawl.

But not long after Declan John had a close-range effort blocked well by sub Louis Thompson, Bolton hit the woodwork for a third time.

Harry Brockbank skipped down the right to swing a cross in for Doyle, who met the ball well and beat the keeper with his header but could only see it flick agonisingly up and into the away fans.

John continued to look Wanderers’ best outlet on the left, and he nearly caught Bazunu out with a deep cross as the game entered into stoppage time.

But the quality needed to get back into the game just wasn’t there for Wanderers, who at least now have a week of cup competition to act as distraction.