Bolton manager Ian Evatt praised his fast-improving side after they defeated Stevenage 2-1 in Sky Bet League Two to earn a third-successive win in all competitions.
Eoin Doyle’s fourth league goal of the season broke the deadlock after 14 minutes, the striker slamming home the rebound after Antoni Sarcevic’s strike had been kept out by goalkeeper Jamie Cumming.
The visitors doubled their advantage nine minutes before the break with Ali Crawford’s low-curling effort finding the net following a great run from Gethin Jones.
Tom Pett halved the deficit before the interval but Evatt’s men held on in the second half to claim their first away win since early October, leaving the Trotters manager delighted with his side’s resilience.
“The way we stood up to everything they threw at us – which wasn’t easy, this isn’t an easy place to come – was excellent,” Evatt said.
“There were some glimpses of quality on the counter attack and I feel we should have put the game to bed.
“We could have made things a lot easier for ourselves in the second half than we did and that was down to that one minute’s worth of slack defending.
“We must keep concentrating until the whistle is blown and make our lives a little bit more comfortable.”
Wanderers are now 16th in League Two as they continue to climb the table following a slow start, an upturn in fortunes Evatt puts down to the choices now at his disposal.
“All of a sudden we’ve got everyone back available, everyone fit and competing,” Evatt said. “We look a different team and a different squad when everyone is available.
“We’re not getting carried away, we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re now seeing ourselves starting to develop.
“We’re starting to improve fast and winning is now becoming a habit.”
Stevenage remain in the bottom two having not won since September and Boro boss Alex Revell was left to rue a lack of cutting edge from his side.
“We started the first half quite well, on the front foot I thought,” he said.
“In the second half, we were really positive and were probably the dominant side. We had chances but we didn’t take them.
“If you don’t take your chances, you’re not going to win as many games as you want.
“Today we created chances but we didn’t take them, and there’s only so many times we can keep saying that.
“You look at them – in the first half they had three attempts at our goal, two of them end up in the back of the net.
“This group of players is what we’ve got, this is what we’ve got to work with every day and we can only try and make them better.”