WANDERERS showed plenty of character against Wycombe but were left lacking a clinical edge following a 1-0 loss at Adams Park.

Sam Vokes scored the decisive goal, heading home midway through the second half to condemn the Whites to an eighth league defeat of the campaign.

Ian Evatt was looking for a big response from Wednesday night’s FA Cup defeat against Stockport County but knew it would be a tough test given their injury problems.

While Wanderers left Adams Park empty-handed, they showed their inner steel with a battling performance against the Chairboys.

The first real chance fell to Sullay Kaikai, who sent a wild volley over the bar from the edge of the box.

Vokes then dragged an effort wide before Santos failed to hit the target after getting on the end of Lloyd Isgrove’s free-kick.

Midway through the first half, Dapo Afolayan picked out Kieran Lee following a superb run from the left wing but the midfielder failed to make a proper connection.

David Wheeler then found Vokes in space with a clever cut-back after meeting KaiKai’s inviting free-kick, but the former Wales international couldn’t get a shot away.

Moments later, Vokes had Dixon beat with a low drive across goal but the woodwork came to Wanderers’ rescue.

Then came the main talking point of the first half, with referee David Rock awarding Wycombe a penalty after Anis Mehmeti went down under MJ Williams’ challenge in the box.

But Dixon made a big stop low to his left to keep out Mehmeti’s spot kick and keep his side on level terms.

At the other end, Afolayan managed to get in behind the Wycombe defence but his strike was denied by the legs of David Stockdale.

Vokes then had Dixon scrambling with a looping header which landed on the roof of the net before Ryan Tafazolli sent a header over the bar.

On the stroke of half-time, Elias Kachunga found George Thomason arriving late with a dangerous cross but the midfielder couldn’t hit the target at full stretch.

Early in the second half, Afolayan was again denied by Stockdale after another surging run from the left flank.

Jordan Obita then tried his luck from 25 yards but his effort fizzed wide of Dixon’s near post.

The Whites were dealt another blow just before the hour mark when Williams was forced off with a shoulder injury, with George Johnston replacing the Welshman.

Kachunga then found space in behind the Wycombe defence after beating the offside trap minutes later, but the forward dragged an effort wide.

Dixon did well to get a hand to Obita’s flash across goal before Declan John’s goal-bound effort was blocked after more good work by Afolayan at the other end.

But Wycombe eventually managed to find a way past the Bolton goalkeeper when Vokes opened the scoring with a looping header across goal.

And the Chairboys nearly doubled their lead when Dixon did well to deny Kaikai from close range following a quick counter attack.

The former Barrow man then made two more impressive stops, first to tip Tafazolli’s header over before denying Wheeler.

With 10 minutes to go, Ian Evatt sent on Hamburg loanee Xavier Amaechi in place of Alex Baptiste in the hope of finding an equaliser.

And Stockdale did well to deny Kachunga from a tight angle after a clever reverse pass from Afolayan in the final stages.

After the game, Evatt revealed Josh Sheehan has suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament and will be out for around nine months.

The Bolton boss also confirmed that Amadou Bakayoko will be out of action for around six weeks due to a torn hamstring.

The Whites do not yet know the extent of Williams’ shoulder injury but will be hoping it isn’t too serious given their struggles at Stockport while he was absent through illness.

But Evatt will take comfort from the fact that his side created some good chances against a Wycombe side who were playing in the Championship last season and have won 10 of their opening 18 league matches this term.

It could be argued that the result might have been different had Eoin Doyle – who remains sidelined by a calf injury - or Bakayoko been on the pitch.

While Kachunga has shown promising signs in recent weeks, the former Huddersfield man isn’t an out-and-out striker like Doyle and Bakayoko.

Joel Dixon also deserves a mention, having made a series of fine stops to keep Wanderers in the game.

The goalkeeper has gone from strength to strength since his joining the Whites from Barrow over the summer to reunite with Evatt.

Dixon has already proved that he is good with his feet and suits Wanderers’ possession-based approach to the ground.

Now, the Bolton stopper is proving he is someone who can be relied on and can produce big saves at important moments.

Afolayan also looked back to his best, causing the Wycombe defence problems with his quick feet and effortless dribbling.

The former Chelsea youngster has been the Whites’ star man so far this term and shows no sign of slowing down.

Meanwhile, Isgrove made the most of his chance to play in his preferred role on the right wing with an energetic display.

Attention now turns to Tuesday night when Wanderers’ busy League One schedule continues with a home fixture against struggling Doncaster.

Richie Wellens’ men find themselves in the drop zone after picking up just 13 points from their opening 17 fixtures.

While the Whites’ extensive injury list is an issue, there were signs in the performance against Wycombe that they have what it takes to return to winning ways on Tuesday night.

Over 1,000 supporters made the long journey down to Adams Park and made lots of noise throughout the game.

Right now, Wanderers need all the support they can get as they aim to overcome their awful injury luck and start to climb the League One table.