WANDERERS would argue they were due a slice of good fortune after the last few weeks – and, let’s face it, they were probably a gust of Winter Hill wind away from a defeat which would have cut deep.

A slightly different trajectory for either of Harrison Burrows’s second-half shots that bounced off the woodwork, or for Jack Iredale’s mis-kick that shook the base of the post, and it could have been a very uncomfortable weekend for Ian Evatt and his tormented team.

A sense of melancholy has been brewing in Bolton of late, since a blank transfer deadline day closed, in fact. And had 10-man Bolton succumbed to a defeat on Saturday afternoon, it would have fed that negative narrative very well indeed.

Injuries have racked up in the last couple of weeks, shaving away any excess that existed in Evatt’s already-slender squad. And that situation has not been improved now that Gethin Jones and George Thomason face a suspension at Port Vale.

At the moment Jones saw red for a needless touchline challenge on Ricky Jade-Jones, the grey skies above the Toughsheet Stadium took on a whole new menace. Peterborough had been bright, energetic, and though Victor Adeboyejo had snatched an equaliser shortly after Jonson Clarke-Harris’s opener, the visitors were looking good to do further damage.

More than 21,000 fans turned up on the club’s first Community Day of the season. That would have been a lot of unhappy feet trudging back out into an autumnal evening, and even more disgruntled digits voicing their frustration on social media.

Instead, the 10 men fought to earn a point that said plenty about the resilient character of this group, and why it should perhaps be given some time to work through its problems.

Evatt’s comments about striving to be an “elite” team appeared to get some supporters’ back up before kick-off – and had the pattern of the first half continued, those words would have no doubt been recirculated far and wide.

By all accounts, the tactical detail being asked of this squad is of a very high level. Players who have come in on loan from Premier League clubs like Conor Bradley, Owen Beck, James Trafford and Paris Maghoma, or signings like Nathan Baxter, have all made the same remarks about the similarities between the coaching at Bolton and their previous home.

Whether Evatt’s current League One squad is capable of handling that workload, we will only find out in the fullness of time. But their ability to hold on in this game came down to something much more primal and instinctive.

Peterborough’s rapid front line worked well to supply the ammunition for Clarke-Harris, giving wide centre-halves Jones and Iredale a torrid first 45 minutes.

Darren Ferguson is planning for life without the 29-year-old goal machine, trying to introduce a possession game that is not a million miles from the one used by Bolton. And while Clarke-Harris may not be as mobile as his manager may want him to be, his reliability in the penalty box makes him virtually un-droppable, at least until January.

It was with typically predatory instinct that he nodded home Burrows’ fine cross from the left, giving Posh a lead they deserved just before half time.

Wanderers’ football had been slower, steadier, more deliberate. But once again they looked to wide men Josh Dacres-Cogley and Randell Williams to get them behind Peterborough’s defenders, and it was with a wonderfully efficient move down the right that Adeboyejo nipped in to score his fifth of the season, capitalising on a bad error from keeper Nicholas Bilokapic.

Had that been the final incident of note in the first half, Bolton would have felt pleased to be on level terms, having not produced anything like their best football to that point. One reckless moment from Jones later, and the task suddenly looked a steep one indeed.

Referee Ross Joyce’s history with the Whites is well-documented. He had twice sent off Ricardo Santos – missing with a hamstring injury – with one of those decisions overturned by the FA. Though Evatt and others have argued that Jones’s challenge deserved a caution, not a straight red, it was uncharacteristic lapse in judgement. The vice-captain knew he had lost his cool.

At the side of the pitch there had been a brief moment of chaos as Peterborough’s bench protested the challenge. Evatt was in the thick of it, as was defender Burrows, but out of several ‘offenders’ the Bolton boss ended up as the only man with a yellow card.

It was hard not to feel some injustice, too, that former loanee Peter Kioso avoided a second yellow card after trying to win a penalty in the second half. Archie Collins was also a lucky boy after dragging down sub Dan Nlundulu in the last few minutes as he turned on halfway looking to break on goal.

Bolton rode their luck a little but after sacrificing their shape and attacking instincts to protect their penalty box, they will feel a point was justified.

Will Forrester excelled on his first league start for the club and Baxter produced a performance in goal of pure calmness and class.

Evatt’s substitutions have been criticised on occasion this season but Nlundulu and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson added energy and purpose to what had been a rather one-sided second half. Wanderers did not quite manufacture a stand-out chance in the latter stages but they did enough to worry Posh and force them on to the back foot, ensuring the final throes of the game were a lot less dramatic than they could have been.

Wanderers have some issues to sort. Concerns about squad depth and quality won’t disappear quickly, especially if the list of absentees gets any longer.

Bodvarsson and Nlundulu must build on their encouraging cameo, as must Adeboyejo on his fifth goal of the campaign. Doubters are still there but this was a significant test passed and one from which they should take some confidence.

With his options so limited, Evatt must make sure his side – and indeed himself – rein in their indiscipline. Young George Thomason has been one of the highlights of the season to date but seven yellow cards at this stage of the campaign is way too many.

Vice-captain Jones won’t need telling that his moment of madness could have been very costly. His form in the last few weeks has been questioned but – like a good few in this group – he has always found answers in the past. He deserves some patience, given his sterling service, too.

A point did not look like it would be enough to quell the grumbles before kick off but the way it was achieved was the important thing here.

“Hard work puts you where good luck can find you,” said Evatt after the game. And one hopes that good fortune can continue to shine on Bolton a little longer.