NATHAN Baxter missed out on Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Northampton Town after sustaining an injury during Tuesday night’s abandoned game at Cambridge United, Bolton’s assistant boss Peter Atherton has confirmed.

Wanderers were unable to call on their first-choice stopper at Sixfields for the first time in a league game this season, handing the gloves to Joel Coleman.

Ian Evatt said late last week that he was more likely to name a substitute goalkeeper on the bench for the foreseeable after Baxter damaged wrist ligaments in the previous game at Barnsley. But having exacerbated the problem in midweek it now raises questions about how long he could now be side-lined.

Atherton felt Coleman performed well in what was his first league game in almost exactly two years.

The Bolton-born stopper last played league football for Rochdale against Harrogate in League Two on February 12, 2022, but showed he is a more than capable understudy.

“He did well, second-half in particular he had to do a lot of the sweeping up,” he said.

“He made a great save in the first half from the free-kick to tip it on to the post but unfortunately we couldn’t clear the second rebound.

“Joel comes in, trains hard, works well, and that Blackpool game probably stood him in good stead. It wasn’t like he was coming in from the doldrums.

“It is a chance and he is up to taking it.

“It matters to all the players but there is that added spice because he is a local lad.”

The Bolton News: Bolton Wanderers' Gethin Jones (2nd left) looks on as his shot is saved by Northampton Town's goalkeeper Louie MouldenBolton Wanderers' Gethin Jones (2nd left) looks on as his shot is saved by Northampton Town's goalkeeper Louie Moulden (Image: Camerasport)

Coleman was also joined by another Boltonian goalkeeper in the second half, with Northampton bringing on Louie Moulden, son of ex-Manchester City striker Paul Moulden, and brother of Wanderers kit manager Ted Moulden.

The 22-year-old is currently on loan from Wolves and was making his first-ever appearance in the EFL.

Atherton also said Josh Dacres-Cogley had not been named on the team-sheet at Northampton to give him some extra rest time but that the wing-back had not picked up an injury.

Carlos Mendes Gomes has not yet started in the league for Bolton this season following his summer move from Luton Town – his five starts so far coming in the cup competitions.

Atherton admits his absence at the African Cup of Nations came at an inopportune time for both the player and his club, who were then suffering a run of injuries. But he believes the Guinea-Bissau international can produce more moments of magic like his second-half headed equaliser.

“It was a lovely finish,” he said. “We know what he can do, and it was a bit unfortunate that he had to go away for the African Cup of Nations, which sort of came at a tough time for him and for us as a group.

“He is back in the picture now and we know about his ability, he has something different to our other midfield players and strikers.

“He can produce things like that which will grab us a point or win games when it comes to it.”