Bolton boss Ian Evatt was full of praise for goalkeeper Joel Dixon after he marked his debut with the vital save to help the Sky Bet League One new-boys to a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Championship Barnsley.
Dixon, signed from Evatt’s former club Barrow in pre-season, saved Barnsley’s fifth spot-kick from Devante Cole before Josh Sheehan netted the decisive penalty.
“Joel was getting closer and closer to them. To play like that and save a critical penalty was great for him,” Evatt said.
“I trust him, he is reliable, and a completely different character to Matt (Gilks), but we have two fantastic keepers and I have good choice in that department.
“Then we really fancied Josh (Sheehan) to get the job done. I wish England had watched that,” he laughed.
“It was a difficult game on paper. They finished fifth in the Championship and that’s a tough league, so to do that they must be a very good team.”
Evatt was less impressed by Wanderers’ first-half display.
“We were off the pace and they dominated,” he said. “We were lucky to still be 0-0, but in the second half it was a completely different performance.
“We were more aggressive, more on the front foot and played with greater intensity.”
Barnsley boss Markus Schopp said: “That’s the worst way to go out, with the last penalty.
“We did a good job for 60 minutes but we have a problem, even in the pre-season games – we create a lot but don’t score.
“After 30 seconds we had a big opportunity and to open a game in this way would be awesome and a help for each of us.
“But it is not coming out right at the moment. We have to improve there definitely.”
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