IAN Evatt hailed Nathan Baxter’s focus after he helped Wanderers equal a 123-year-old club record for consecutive clean sheets.

Not since 1900 when English rugby union and football international John Willie Sutcliffe kept goal has a Bolton keeper managed to shut out seven consecutive opponents.

Although Joel Coleman can claim one of the shut-outs in the current run, it was Baxter who made two big first-half saves against Oxford United, denying Stan Mills and Cameron Branagan, to ensure the impressive run continues with a chance to set a new benchmark in the FA Cup against Harrogate on Saturday.

“I don’t think they had a great deal but it does show Nathan’s concentration levels,” said Evatt. “He didn’t have and isn’t having a great deal to do at the moment but what he does is excellent. Credit to the whole team because we are defending from the front and we are looking after the ball, and if we have the ball the opponents can’t score.

“Nathan made two saves – one from the set piece and one in transition – we didn’t want to turn the ball over the way we did in that first half but credit to them, their set-up caused us a few problems. But once we had figured it out you saw what happened second half and I don’t think anyone could argue we deserved to win the game. It was just one of those nights where they had defenders blocking chances, their keeper has made some big saves, and that little bit of poor finishing. But we’ll back our players to keep scoring.

“We created an awful lot in that second half and that is great credit to the players.”

Wanderers still top the table on goal difference from Portsmouth, and Evatt was pleased with the way his players managed the pressure of going to Oxford as league leaders.

“I thought they handled things well, there are no negatives whatsoever. A point away from home is never a bad one.

“We are disappointed that given the performance level and the amount we created in the second half that we didn’t win it but we scored seven on Saturday, we cant always have it our own way.”

Though an eight-game winning streak came to an end, more than 1,000 travelling supporters showed their appreciation at the final whistle, and Evatt thanked them for their backing.

“To travel in the numbers they did, with how cold it is and how far it is away from Bolton, is great credit to the fans – they have been amazing to us,” he said.

“We are going to try and keep performing for them. We wanted three points but everyone can see what we put into the game and I’m sure they will know that if we keep playing like that, we’ll beat more teams than we don’t.”

Wanderers move on to the FA Cup, looking to reach the third round with a home tie against League Two Harrogate.

Evatt hinted that changes are likely with some of the players who did not start against Oxford set to feature.

“It is a huge game now and we have the opportunity to have a look at things and rotate a little bit,” he added.

“Players are looking hungry and the ones who came off the bench again were excellent.

“There are good players on the side there who didn’t even get on, the whole squad is in a good place.”