Dion Charles was ‘outstanding’ for Bolton Wanderers as Ian Evatt could not understand how Charlton Athletic’s Jason Pearce was not shown a second yellow card in the 2-1 win.
Charles put Wanderers in front early on after getting the better of Akin Famewo and rounding Craig MacGillivray to give the hosts the lead.
But the Addicks equalized when substituted Chuks Aneke rose highest to head past James Trafford.
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However, Wanderers reook the lead and what proved to be the three points when Will Aimson headed home Aaron Morley’s dangerous free-kick to give Wanderers 16 points out of their last 18 on offer.
Pearce was already on a booking on the stroke of the hour mark when he brought down Charles again, but referee Ben Toner opted not to send the Addicks captain off, who was withdrawn from the action moments later for Sam Lavelle by Johnnie Jackson.
And Evatt praised the performance of Charles who stood out for Bolton amongst a jaded team in a busy run of fixtures, as he admitted he could not understand why Pearce was not shown a second yellow card.
But he admitted that Gethin Jones could also have seen red for a challenge on George Dobson in the first half.
He said: “I’m delighted with him (Charles) and he’s given us everything and more that we thought he would. His work ethic from him is second to none and he sets the tempo of the team really.
“I thought he was outstanding in particular and everyone else just seemed a bit jaded more than anything else and not quite the tempo and intensity we’re used to seeing.
“All these lads are playing a lot of games in a short space of time and I think we’ve still got four or five more this month, so there’s more to come.
“But fortunately we’ve got a squad to be able to utilize and we’re going to have to ring some changes, there’s no doubt about it because you can’t keep going to the well when the well’s running dry and it looks like a few of them are looking a bit tired and fatigued at the moment so we’ll have a look at them over the next couple of days and we’ll make a decision for Oxford.
“I cannot understand for the life of me why it wasn’t (second yellow for Pearce) and it makes it even more obvious when they take him off immediately afterwards.
“I think the whole stadium knew he should have been off the pitch, but perhaps that was kind of evening itself up because of the Gethin one in the first half quite possibly have been a red as well so probably one all on decisions on the night .”
James Trafford also stood out for Wanderers, with his game management in the first half leading to bookings for Conor Washington and Alex Gilbey, with Evatt pleased with what he saw from him and also Kyle Dempsey after making his first start for the club.
But in a game where Wanderers were not at their best, the three points were the most important aspect and the energy and intensity needed will be called upon among the squad in the weeks to come.
He said: “I’m pleased with his (Trafford’s) game management today. I’m pleased with his goalkeeping more than anything else.
“His attitude and character has been first class since he’s come in the building and we’re really pleased with him. We’re pleased with all the ones we’ve bought in.
“I thought Kyle did great in the first half and he gave us some energy and you could see what he’s going to bring to the team. There’s lots to be positive about at the moment.
“The most important thing tonight is we won the game and we managed to do that. We can debrief and look through the debris tomorrow and Thursday on where we can improve and where we can do better.
“But for me, fundamentally it’s just down to energy and intensity and that’s why we’re going to need the whole squad.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.