Nathan Baxter was happy to help Wanderers pass the quality test provided by Premier League Luton and bring the Hatters back to Bolton.
Baxter chalked up another clean sheet – the Whites’ 12th in their last 16 games and fourth in a row – as Ian Evatt’s men drew 0-0 with top-flight Town in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Wanderers’ keeper made a couple of excellent second-half saves as Wanderers became only the second side this season to prevent Luton from scoring on their own ground.
And the Whites’ number-one is looking forward to another chance to try and pull off a shock in a replay back at the Toughsheet Community Stadium after an impressive showing at Kenilworth Road.
“It was nice. Some of the games in our division it is quite quiet, so it was nice to have a game where I was more in the action,” said Baxter, who has also been a key man in the Whites’ climb to second place in League One on the back of one of the meanest defensive records in the division.
“We have ambitions to go up a division to the Championship where we would come up against more quality like we did against Luton. So it was a good test to see where we are at and we came through it well.
“We had some chances and rode our luck at times but I thought the last 20 minutes we were looking like the team that could get a result.
“They came out after half-time and were really good and put us under a lot of pressure. But then we got a foothold in the game and were definitely worth a replay.”
Wanderers’ performance earned them a place alongside Luton in tonight’s (Monday’s) fourth-round draw.
The Whites haven’t been in the last-32 since 2019 and Baxter is hoping to bridge that gap when Luton make their first visit to Wanderers’ current home – 27 years on from losing a fourth-round Cup replay at Burnden Park.
“Players are aware of what the FA Cup and a big game at home can do for the club,” added Baxter.
“The pitch and the surroundings will suit us more, but they have some real quality to pose us challenges. But we are looking forward to that, and hopefully the chance of progressing.”
The third-round replay will be played in the week commencing Monday, 15th January with the exact date to be confirmed when broadcast selections have been finalised.