Thursday, April 25, 2024

Ian Evatt ‘baffled’ by referee’s decision-making as Bolton lose at Blackpool

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024


Bolton boss Ian Evatt said he was baffled at referee Josh Smith’s decision-making as his side lost 4-1 to Blackpool.

Captain Ricardo Santos was sent off for the visitors in the 66th minute for bringing down Kyle Joseph in the area.

Jake Beesley converted the resulting spot-kick for his second of the game, having also scored the early equaliser from a free-kick.

“We were on top and in control of the game in the first half, and then we gave away a free-kick that’s never a foul,” Evatt said. “However, we can’t blame the referee for how we defended it – that’s on us.

“The second one we switch off, go 2-1 down, and we had two chances that you just can’t miss.

“It was us probing in the second half, then the sending-off and penalty ends the game. But it’s not a penalty and it’s definitely not a red card.

“Nobody can say, regardless of whether he got the ball or not – he went for the ball. The whole rule is the double jeopardy thing. It’s not a foul I don’t think, and he can’t send him off.

“I’m baffled by the whole performance from the referee today.

“We cannot allow this result to define us. We’ve got to get up and respond.”

Bolton had taken the lead at Bloomfield Road just nine minutes into the game as George Thomason fired home from the edge of the box.

Beesley hit back for the hosts just seven minutes later with a peach of a shot that curled its way into the top corner of the Bolton net.

The game swung further in Blackpool’s favour just before the half-hour mark when Marvin Ekpiteta lashed home the rebound from a George Byers header.

Santos’ sending off and Beesley’s penalty all but confirmed Blackpool’s victory before Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel added a fourth late on at the end of a stylish counter-attack.

Blackpool now sit four points off the play-offs with a game in hand on sixth-placed Oxford while Bolton lost ground on leaders Portsmouth as they suffered their first defeat in seven games.

Tangerines manager Neil Critchley said: “I thought we played with real spirit and we got our just rewards for commitment, effort, being there for each other, and ability as well.

“Everyone has put in a really good performance, so it’s been a really good day for us but we’ve got another game on Tuesday night now.

“If a result like this and a performance like this can’t give us belief for the rest of the season, then nothing will.

“It shows you what we’re capable of, our record against the top six teams is very good – we’ve picked up points against them, but we’ve got to solve our away form.”


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