Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt’s delight at Sheffield Wednesday show

The hosts had gone into the lead after just 11 minutes at Hillsborough when Lee Gregory turned in Aiden Flint’s knock down in the six yard box, and looked set to extend their lead thereafter.

Evatt was delighted that his players were able to hold firm and then build their way towards an equaliser just before half time, scored by Victor Adeboyejo and created by Gethin Jones and Conor Bradley.

“After that goal, that is as tough as it gets,” he reflected. “A team top of the league, unbeaten in I don’t know how long, with the best record in world football at the moment.

“But the character we showed, we grew into it, we gained belief, our processes were good and I thought we deserved the equaliser. We utilised the space down our right, which is where I thought we could hurt them, and as the game went on I felt we were the more likely to win, so there was plenty to be pleased about.”

Wanderers felt they could have claimed all three points 10 minutes before the end when Dion Charles was sent tumbling by Aiden Flint inside the penalty box, chasing on to a fine pass from Eoin Toal.

Asked whether he had spoken to the official, Evatt added: “The referee said it was natural football contact. If that is natural football contract then I’m in the wrong game and the wrong industry.

“Dion is clean in, we’d worked the space, he was setting himself to shoot, slowed down and was just bundled down from behind.

“Their players are good guys, an honest bunch, and they were walking off saying it was one million per cent a penalty and that they had got away with one. It’s disappointing.”

A big crowd of 29,230 turned up at Hillsborough to create a noisy atmosphere which, reasoned Evatt, may also have played its part in the referee’s decision making.

He said: “For a referee, I’m guessing the occasion – to end an unbeaten run which has been going so long now – at the away stadium, maybe it comes into play? But it shouldn’t. A penalty is a penalty and we were very unlucky not to get one.”