Non-stop midfield man Kyle Dempsey hailed the togetherness and resilience of the Wanderers’ team as they stood firm to secure another vital three points in their play-off push.
Wanderers played for over an hour with 10 men after the dismissal of goalscorer Dion Charles in bizarre circumstances at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The Whites’ leading scorer was a clear victim of a case of mistaken identity after Elias Kachunga should seemingly have seen red.
But without their mean attacking outlet, Ian Evatt’s injury-hit side dug deep to keep Forest Green Rovers out and secure a character-full 1-0 victory over a side scrapping for their lives at the bottom of League One.
“Going down to 10 men is any game is tough and it’s about finding a way to win,” said Dempsey, who gave a colossal performance as Wanderers’ most advanced midfield player following an enforced re-shuffle.
“What we showed was another side of our game. We can play the pretty football and look good on the eye but when it gets to a game like you’ve got to dig in and we’ve also got that as well.
“It was everything for the cause. We knew we had to graft. We knew we had to be together.
“We knew we had to put bodies on the line, defend our box well and try and be clinical on transitions and buy us that time.
“I felt we did that. We didn’t really give them many chances – even with 10 men – and the togetherness of the performance was outstanding.
“Each man ran their socks off. I think the resilience, the determination, the togetherness of the group got us those three points so we’re delighted with it.
“It was a massive game and a massive three points for us.”
The result keeps Wanderers well placed in fifth in the table after repelling Rovers to secure a club record seventh successive home clean sheet.
And Evatt’s men were roared to victory by a passionate crowd at the UniBol who played a big part in helping Wanderers over the line to a ninth home league win of the season as they gave the perfect response to a first loss in nine matches at top-six rivals Derby County last Saturday.
“We were disappointed at the weekend because we didn’t feel like we really gave a showing of our real selves, especially with the support we had there,” added Dempsey.
“That was incredible. We were a bit disappointed to let them down a bit so it was about bouncing back and we did that.
“We need the supporters. They’re a massive part of us and they’re the ones who get us over the line, especially in the last 15 minutes.
“They’re the ones who give you that extra bit of energy and they were outstanding.”