Wanderers beat Barnsley 3-1 at Oakwell in the play-off semi-final first leg, but what did we learn from the contest?

Charles milestone

Dion Charles’ return from injury looked like it could be a key factor heading into the play-offs and the forward certainly made his mark against the Tykes.

His first goal was exactly what the Northern Irish international is known for – making an intelligent run into the danger area and providing an instinctive finish.

The second took composure from the penalty spot after Josh Sheehan had been tripped by Barnsley goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Charles has now reached 20 goals for the Whites in back-to-back seasons – an impressive feat after spending a couple of months on the sidelines.

Baxter heroics

While Wanderers were in control for large spells at Oakwell, they were under the cosh after Sam Cosgrove pulled one back.

A Barnsley equaliser could have changed the tie completely and most people in the stadium thought Adam Phillips’ header was going in.

But Nathan Baxter refused to be beaten, springing to his left and making a superb save to keep Bolton in front.

After the final whistle, Ian Evatt told the press he believes that the former Chelsea man is the best goalkeeper in League One, and it is easy to see why.

Maghoma magic

Evatt had a selection dilemma after Kyle Dempsey got on the scoresheet at Peterborough while Paris Maghoma missed out through illness.

The Bolton boss opted to bring Maghoma back into the side and he delivered another classy display in the middle of the pitch.

The Brentford loanee produced a delicious cross to set up Charles’ opener after some scintillating play with Josh Dacres-Cogley and Aaron Collins on the right flank.

He also caused Barnsley plenty of problems throughout the night with his direct dribbling and quality on the ball.

Jerome experience

There was plenty of debate about whether Randell Williams’ goal should have stood in stoppage time.

The wing-back curled a corner straight in, sending the away end into raptures, but the hosts felt Cameron Jerome had impeded Roberts.

Whether it was Jerome’s experience at play, or a touch of the ‘dark arts’, it was yet another example of the veteran striker helping Wanderers hold onto a lead.

Victor Adeboyejo also got a run-out off the bench against his former club following a couple of months out of action with a hamstring issue.

Job not done

While Evatt was pleased with his side’s display in South Yorkshire, the Bolton chief was quick to stress that the job is not yet finished.

Most Wanderers fans probably would have taken a draw in the first leg so heading back to the Toughsheet Community Stadium with a two-goal lead is huge.

However, Sheffield Wednesday’s comeback against Peterborough last season serves as the perfect reminder of what can happen if teams don’t turn up in the second leg.

The Whites will back themselves to do the business in front of a bumper crowd on Tuesday night, but an early Barnsley goal could make things a tad nervy.