Joey Barton paid credit to Bolton Wanderers after they inflicted a 'kick in the proverbials' on Bristol Rovers with their late leveller after putting significant pressure on the Gas in the second half.
The Gas stunned the hosts inside two minutes when Anthony Evans' low cross was finished off from close range by Josh Coburn as the visitors went in front. It was a lead they preserved at the break, as Dapo Afolayan fired over the bar from distance and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson saw a low shot saved.
After the break, Charles went close to equalising off the bench as he nearly connected with Afolayan's dangerous cross. Charles forced James Belshaw into action after capitalising on James Connolly's error.
The visitors were resilient in defence and kept Wanderers at bay for much of the game. But the hosts deservedly drew level when Charles curled home a beauty from inside a crowded box to ensure the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Barton admitted he was gutted after his side conceded so late on, but gave Wanderers credit for their tenacity which got their rewards in the end. Though believing his side defended well and were disciplined, the Rovers boss feels they are capable of so much more.
He told BristolLive: "I’m gutted. We were a minute or so away from getting the job done. It’s a kick in the proverbials, but credit to Bolton, they had us under loads of pressure in the second half and we found it tough to get out of our half and clear our lines.
"While we defended superbly in there, I still think we needed a bit more quality on the transition and if you sit back too deep and they keep putting the ball in your box, eventually they will land with a chance. I’ve watched the goal back and I think there will be a couple of people disappointed with their part in it.
"It’s part of our learning. It’s a sucker punch for us, but we came here and we knew in the past couple of games, we were going to play sides who were top eight or top 10 in the division. Coming to this stadium today off the back of the FA Cup defeat, we were probably not as confident as we could be, but we got off to a great start.
"I’ll level with you, I don’t think we’ve played particularly well. We’ve had little spells in there, but we’re disappointed with our level of performance.
"We’ve defended superbly at times and we were disciplined in that regard, but we can play so much more football. We were nowhere near the level of football team we can be today, and if you don’t operate at your highest performance levels when you come here, you can’t expect to win the game.
"I’m disappointed, but another point gained. We’ll learn the lessons and move the club forward."
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