Ian Evatt was left to rue mistakes by officials and his goalkeeper after Bolton claimed a 1-1 Sky Bet League Two draw at Cambridge.
The Trotters’ boss insisted that a disallowed Harry Brockbank goal that was ruled offside early in the second half should have been allowed to stand.
The game remained goalless until the final 20 minutes when Bolton goalkeeper Billy Crellin could only turn Jack Iredale’s cross into his own net.
Evatt did however see promising signs in his side’s performance after Bolton hit back to take a point courtesy of their captain Antoni Sarcevic, who struck a precise finish into the bottom corner eight minutes from time.
“Disappointing is an understatement, I think the lads deserved to win today,” Evatt said. “Against a team that are flying high, top of the league, scoring loads of goals, I can’t remember them having much of a chance.
“The back three defended like men. The team deserved more.
“We’ve been let down by officials. Harry Brockbank’s goal, a wonderful goal, was legitimate and three yards onside.
“And then the mistake by Billy. I’ve just spoken to Billy in there. He’s a fantastic young goalie with lots of attributes and assets but we cannot afford him to keep making mistakes – it’s that simple.
“He cost us the first goal in my opinion at Barrow on Tuesday, maybe the second one as well, and then today. This is me saying to him publicly ‘Man Up’. I’ve had that conversation privately, this is a man’s game.
“Three points are at stake and my team deserved to win today.
“For whatever reason at the moment lady luck isn’t smiling on us. That will change, it’s a long old season.
“The most important thing is the performance. The performance against a team that’s scoring at will and top of this league was great.”
Mark Bonner felt his Cambridge side did not hit the heights of recent weeks but refused to be downcast with a point that leaves the U’s second in the table with only one defeat in their eight league outings so far.
“We got stretched out a little bit in the second half and they found the equaliser,” he said. “It’s always disappointing when you go ahead to not hold onto that result, but it was quite a scrappy game, quite a scrappy afternoon, at times a little bit tired and sloppy in some of our play, but we played a good side.
“Their position in the league at the moment is false, they’ll end up higher than that with the threats in the attacking areas that they’ve got. In the end we have to say ‘we’re happy with a point’.
“We were just a bit slow in the first half, but having said that, on two or three occasions we looked more of a threat and like we could create chances.
“Our goal’s probably a bit reflective of the game a little bit because it was a really scruffy one, but in the end we take seven points out of a really busy week and we shouldn’t turn our nose up at a point against a team that will do well this year.
“We’ve been good when we’ve taken the lead especially with the wind in the second half and probably since Joey Ironside came on, we got a little bit more control in their half.
“We were able to maintain the game there and stop them from getting out, but they’ve got some good attacking players that are going to cause you problems all day.
“We thought we’d nearly nicked it and we’d have been delighted if we did, but we shouldn’t be too despondent with the point.”