IT took a week of extremes to get there but Zac Ashworth feels he has finally arrived at Bolton Wanderers.

The on-loan West Brom wing-back scored a brilliant headed equaliser to save a point in a frantic game against promotion rivals Barnsley.

It came a weekend after he had netted his first-ever league goal at Carlisle, and days after missing the decisive penalty in the Bristol Street Motors trophy quarter final at Blackpool.

The season so far has been a frustrating affair for Ashworth, who after some encouraging performances in the cup competitions suffered a run of minor injuries at the end of last year.

That saw him fall down the pecking order and the January signing of Nat Ogbeta on loan from Swansea City heaped even more pressure on the left wing-back to prove his worth.

But now fit and firing again, the youngster is now determined to make a difference to Bolton’s promotion fight in the remaining months of the season and potentially earn a permanent move in the summer.

“It has been a difficult few months if I am being brutally honest,” he said. “I have never really suffered with injuries before in my career and for whatever reason I have had a spell where things are not going right.

“I have had to be patient and it has been difficult playing once every few weeks or once a month, just getting cameos off the bench.

“But I trusted the gaffer when he said I’d get the opportunity to play games and it makes it a little bit easier when you get that consistency. You can get a rhythm.

“Hopefully now I am starting to make an impact and showing people who maybe didn’t believe in me what I can do.”

Ashworth looked crestfallen walking off the pitch at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night, his sudden death penalty having been steered wide of the post.

But he said the support from the dressing room and coaching staff enabled him to leave the disappointment in the dressing room and switch focus to Barnsley.

“It has been a mad week,” he said. “Those contrasting emotions coming so quickly, it is something I have never experienced.

“When I’d missed the penalty the manager, some of the senior players they really helped. By the time I was back on the bus we’d moved on.

“Football is a crazy sport sometimes and that mental resilience and toughness is important.

“If you let a moment like that affect you too much and don’t recover from it then you are not going to make it. The game is so unpredictable and packed with highs and lows.

“You need good people around you as well, it is really important.”

Ashworth’s goal was created by new signing Aaron Collins with his second touch of the game, giving him a ninth assist of the season.

Of his celebrations in front of the East Stand, the wing-back added: “It was shock more than anything. Once it happened we didn’t want to celebrate too much because we wanted to win the game. It was a case of enjoying it and getting back into position because we wanted another one.

“It is always nice to score in big games but ultimately I’d rather have come away with three points.”

READ MORE: Ashworth and Collins to the rescue for Wanderers