It might have only been a friendly but Wanderers can take plenty of encouragement from their 4-3 victory against West Brom.

Ian Evatt’s men have struggled to take their chances at times in pre-season, but the goals certainly flowed against the Baggies.

Kyle Dempsey bagged a brace for the Whites, with Will Forrester and Aaron Morley also getting on the scoresheet.

There is plenty of quality in Carlos Corberan’s squad but - barring an early onslaught – Wanderers more than matched their Championship opponents.

Finishing pre-season with fixtures against Everton and West Brom was a bold choice, but it has certainly paid off ahead of the curtain raiser against Lincoln.

Evatt made three changes from the side that held Sean Dyche’s Toffees to a goalless draw in midweek.

Zac Ashworth came into the starting line-up against his parent club in place of Jack Iredale, who missed out with a minor issue. George Thomason and Dan Nlundulu were also brought in, with Morley and Victor Adeboyejo dropping to the bench.

The visitors started brightly and had the ball in the net inside the opening 10 minutes when Okay Yokuslu tapped home from close range after Wanderers had failed to deal with a corner, but the goal was chalked off for an offside.

The Baggies did manage to open the scoring moments later when Jed Wallace latched onto Darnell Furlong’s drilled pass and kept his cool to slot past Nathan Baxter in the Bolton goal.

After the game, Evatt admitted his side’s aggressive approach can sometimes leave them open at the back if the opposition manages to beat their press. This is especially the case against sides like West Brom, who have the quality in the final third to punish teams.

Baxter then made a double save to keep out Matt Phillips’ drive low to his left and then keeping hold of a tamer effort from Brandon Thomas-Asante as West Brom continued to apply pressure.

The goalkeeper also made a decent stop to beat away Wallace’s strike from distance before Dion Charles sent a first-time effort over the bar at the other end.

Wanderers got stronger as the first half went on, as they did against Everton several days ago.

Charles and Dan Nlundulu’s pressing from the front caused the visitors a few problems, although they remained committed to building from the back.

There is still plenty of debate over who should lead the line on the opening day. Adeboyejo has proven he can score goals at this level but Nlundulu is arguably better suited to playing alongside Charles.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was also on track for a successful return last term before his campaign was cut short by injury. Thankfully, it seems the Icelander will not be out of action for too long as the new season draws nearer.

Furlong sent a wild effort over the bar after some decent hold-up play from Thomas-Asante on the edge of the box.

Ashworth was then booked for hauling back Wallace after the Whites had been undone by a long ball over the top by Josh Griffiths. The versatile defender might have been in trouble had it not been a friendly.

Evatt’s men got back on level terms on the stroke of half time when Dempsey cut onto his right foot and found the top corner with a superb strike from the edge of the box. Griffiths was rooted to the spot.

The midfielder played a key role for the Whites during the second half of last season, thriving in a more advanced role. He is eager to pick up where he left off if his performance against the Baggies is anything to go by.

Tempers flared early in the second half after Yokuslu caught Josh Sheehan while the midfielder was on the ground. Both players were booked along with Nlundulu.

West Brom regained the lead around the hour mark when Furlong played in Wallace on the right with a pinpoint pass. He squared it for Thomas-Asante, who provided a simple finish from close range after making an intelligent run.

But Wanderers came up with an immediate response, and it was Dempsey again. The former Gillingham man received the ball from Josh Dacres-Cogley in a dangerous position and beat Griffiths with a low drive across goal.

Forrester then made an immediate impact after coming off the bench. The visitors backed off and allowed him to bring the ball into the box before finding the bottom corner with a finish any defender would be proud of.

The young defender has made a positive impression in pre-season and it is becoming clear to see why Evatt and company thought he was a natural fit for Wanderers style of play.

West Brom hit back through Thomas-Asante’s second of the afternoon after the attacker pounced on a sloppy pass by Baxter and slotted into the empty net. It was a soft goal from a Bolton perspective after going in front.

Morley, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Adeboyejo, Cameron Jerome and Kieran Sadlier also joined the fray during the second half.

Griffiths made a fine stop to keep out Adeboyejo’s thumping effort from around 30 yards, before Forrester made a good block to deny Thomas-Asante his hat trick 10 minutes from time.

B Team prospect Max Conway also got a run out off the bench, having impressed during a couple of appearances earlier in pre-season.

The full-back is highly thought of at Wanderers and got some valuable first-team experience under his belt during a loan spell at Buxton in the non-league pyramid last term.

Taylor Gardner-went close during the final stages with a well-struck effort that sailed just wide of the post.

But Morley won it at the death, beating Griffiths with a fine strike from the edge of the box after a clever backheel by Mendes Gomes.

Evatt’s men now head into their opener against Lincoln full of confidence as they aim to hit the ground running.