Wanderers boss Ian Evatt was “proud” to reach the play-off final – but admitted the final stages were nervier than they should have been.

Barnsley went in front on the night through Sam Cosgrove, but the Whites hit back through a quickfire double from Aaron Collins and Eoin Toal.

Cosgrove struck again after the break and Adam Phillips added a third just after the hour mark to set up a tense finish, but Bolton stood firm to secure a Wembley final against Peterborough or Oxford.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in,” said Evatt. “I am a little bit frustrated with how the last 15 minutes panned out.

“We were excellent first half, responded so well to their goal and got ourselves ahead. The game was meandering to nothing really and George has a massive chance to make it 3-1 that we should take.

“Then just a crazy mistake gifted them a goal and changed the momentum. Then they have nothing to lose and are able to throw everything at us. We somehow managed to survive.

“I will take a lot from the first 60 or 70 minutes. The last bit was just crazy, but it was self-inflicted.

“The players know that and understand that, we are better than that. Fingers crossed, we can get the job done now.”

There were scenes of jubilation after the final whistle but for Evatt and his players, there will be no celebrations until the job is done.

“It was one of the least enjoyable 15 minutes of my life,” the manager grinned. “But over two legs we deserved it. For large parts of today, we had complete control.

“I thought we played really well first half and got ourselves in front, deservedly so. We dealt with the first 10 minutes second half and then had a huge opportunity we have to take.

“Just a little bit of game management - whether it is being more focused, more professional or almost over confidence because we felt we had the job done.

“We gifted them some momentum with the equaliser and then had to hang on for dear life. Credit to them, they were excellent. They put us under lots of pressure and showed lots of energy and spirit.

“But we got the job done, which was important. We are not going to over-celebrate, we have got one more game to go and a big job to do before we can start to even think about celebrating.”

It is the second time Evatt has guided Wanderers to Wembley following their EFL Trophy success last season.

“I am really proud of where we have come from,” he reflected. “This club, we almost lost it not so long ago which would have been an absolute tragedy.

“We managed to build it from ground zero with the help of Sharon Brittan, the board, Chris Markham and my coaching staff.

“We have spent a lot of hours getting it to where it is today. But as I said, there is no time for pats on the back. It is time to be laser focused for one more game.”