IAN Evatt praised his players for rolling up their sleeves against Cheltenham Town – but could not help feeling he should have been celebrating three points.

Wanderers twice fought back from a goal down to take a point against the Robins, who were promoted as champions of League Two last season.

Xavier Amaechi and Elias Kachunga cancelled out two goals from Alfie May in an entertaining game but Evatt felt his side had a legitimate third ruled out when Ricardo Santos was flagged for offside.

“It was one that got away,” said the Bolton boss. “The first 20 minutes we’d planned and prepared for three at the back, they’d been three at the back all last season and the majority of this season, and then they throw us a curve ball playing four.

“It took us a while to find the solutions but we changed shape and then after that I thought it was all us, really, and we should have won the game.

“We’re disappointed not to have won it. Rico’s goal was onside and it was a mistake from the linesman, which I guess happens, but to go behind twice and rally ourselves is positive. The lads are giving us absolutely everything, they really are. They are tired and out on their feet at the end but we had that one last chance at the end for Alex Baptiste. I am pleased.”

Wanderers switched from 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-3 to get themselves back into the game after a slow start – and Cheltenham likewise changed shape midway through the second half to steady their own ship after conceding the second goal.

Evatt was happy with the way his side adapted, and with the spirit which has been generated in the camp after an unprecedented run of injuries.

“The last 25 minutes of the first half and large parts of the second half were very good, especially as we have not really had any time to work on a change of system and shape.

“We took it on, we found solutions and where the space was, and the boys did it out on the pitch, which was great to see,” he said.

“Every single one of those boys has given us absolutely everything. Young Liam is playing on the false side and is running his heart out. They all want to do it. I feel like there is a togetherness out there, a siege mentality that has been created. It speaks volumes that with so many players out and only 12 fit seniors that we performed so well today.

“I’m disappointed not to win it but that is the way we are. We want to win every game.

“We saw flashes from Xav Amaechi and I think he will get better and better but you can all see the boy can play.

“We have Dapo Afolayan missing, and he has probably been our best player this season. One to 11, the lads have given us absolutely everything, we can’t ask for any more effort.

“We are disappointed with the two goals we conceded and especially the second one when we had completely taken over the game but to rally ourselves and not to beaten is a positive.”

Evatt also provided a positive update on MJ Williams – with the midfielder now likely to be back in action during December.

“MJ doesn’t require surgery, which means it is more like three weeks than three months, which is good news at the minute,” he said.