In quotes: Bolton v MK Dons

The final word on Wanderers' recent draw as rounds up manger, player and local press post-match reaction

Extending their unbeaten start to the season to maintain their lead at the top of the Sky Bet League One table, Wanderers drew 1-1 with MK Dons on Saturday. 

Rounding up the manager, player and local press' post-match reaction alike, offers the final word on the match... 

How saw it...
Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to life in Sky Bet League One with a 1-1 draw against MK Dons at Macron Stadium.

The deadlock was born inside seven minutes, with Mark Beevers on target against his former club for his first goal in Bolton colours when slamming home via the underside of the bar.

The visitors were back level shortly after the break however, with Ryan Colclough forcing the ball home after a scramble inside the six yard area, while they also saw a Kieran Agard penalty kick saved by Mark Howard with 64 minutes gone.

Both sides gave their all inside the remainder of the game to force a winner, but the spoils were ultimately shared at the final whistle.

We had some good moments but we can play better. We’ve got good enough players to get hold of the ball for longer periods of the game than we did today. 

We never could get hold of the ball like we did in the first period. We looked fatigued because we couldn’t get hold of the ball. 

We gave it away too cheaply when we got it and couldn’t reproduce the start from the opening quarter but we stuck at it.

MK Dons are a good team. They’ve come down a division and want a reaction. To come away with something is important. 

When you don’t play at your best, it is important to come away with something and we have done today.

We had spells without being at our best, but these are a decent side so we’ll have to take the point on the day. We move on. We’re still unbeaten and we can keep going.

How Mark Howard saw it...
It’s frustrating but we’re still unbeaten still and hopefully we can continue this run, but we feel we should have taken all three points.

It was a good game and we imposed ourselves on it for the majority. It was a niggly goal for us to concede, having made the double-save only for it to hit the lad and go in.

I always feel confident when I face penalties. I do my homework with our goalkeeping coach and video analyst and I feel that gives me a little bit of an edge. 

As a goalkeeper you have nothing to lose as all the pressure is on the taker. All I can do is do my best to save it and thankfully I did today.

We knew it was going to be one of our toughest tasks of the season before the game.

Our play, our determination and our quality was on show – we should’ve probably won it. 

It wasn’t to be but I’m proud and happy with my players’ mentality. I thought the players were excellent and we’ll keep moving forward. We need to keep believing.

They are top of the league and they are top of the league for a reason. You’ve got to get points from the teams that are up there because that’s who we’re really fighting against. 

We’ve got the point and not only have we got the point but we’ve put a great performance and a great shift in. 

If you look at it, overall we’ve put the work in and we’ve battled. We should have really had the three points.

It’s a good point against a strong team. They’ve got some good players and we had to defend at times but I thought we played well and had the better chances. 

We probably should have gone on to win the game. It was a good performance and we’ll look to bounce back with a win on Saturday.

Top of the league, unbeaten after seven games, and yet there is still a slight sense of dissatisfaction for all concerned at Wanderers.

The quest for perfection continues for Phil Parkinson, whose side have yet to really flex their muscles in League One despite their lofty position.

This, a third consecutive 1-1 draw, was perhaps the least convincing display of them all. Magnificent for half an hour and ahead via Mark Beevers' first goal for the club, the remaining two-thirds of the game was fragmented, tired even.

Credit perhaps to MK Dons, the first real footballing team Wanderers have come across this term and one who will surely be challenging for the top six positions at the business end.

But after such widespread and relentless optimism towards Parkinson’s first month in charge, this was the first time we could cast a critical eye on his team in a league game and ask for improvement.

It threatened to be another miserable afternoon for Karl Robinson’s side as they fell behind to a Mark Beevers strike after just eight minutes. 

But unperturbed, Dons settled and despite rarely threatening in the first period, were back in it nine minutes into the second as Ryan Colclough scored his first for the club, getting a second bite of the cherry. 

Dons had a chance to win it just after the hour, but Agard missed the penalty he won himself, while Bolton piled on the pressure late on to no avail.

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