Jamie Thomas was on the score sheet as Wanderers’ Under 18 side slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Everton on Saturday morning.
With the team looking to avenge their 5-0 reverse at the hands of Middlesbrough prior to the international break, the club’s youngsters started brightly on Merseyside with a number of early opportunities to take the lead.
Having enjoyed the better start of the two sides, David Lee’s team proceeded to take the lead shortly after half time following good work from Elliot Newby who allowed Thomas to fire home past the Everton goalkeeper.
Their lead was to be short-lived however, with George Green pulling the hosts back onto level terms with a low drive past Harry Campbell into the bottom corner of the net.
As the game wore on, both Guillermo Torres and Aaron Knight went close to securing all three points for Wanderers with fine individual efforts, but Russell Griffiths was equal to them.
With it looking as though the clash would end all square however, Callum Connolly broke Bolton hearts with the winning goal just three minutes from time.
Despite a disappointing final result however, coach Lee was pleased with the performance of his players and the improvement on the display during their last outing.
“I think it was actually the best we’ve played the best we’ve played all season – we looked sharp and intense,” he said following the final whistle. “The intensity and the way they applied themselves was much better than the Middlesbrough game and that was the main thing for us.
“There were some good individual performances which was very pleasing. Every man gave a positive response – on another day, we could have easily won the game had we put on chances away.”
Lee also paid tribute to their opponents, claiming that the Goodison Park outfit’s youth set-up is something which the club itself aspires to be like in the future.
“Everton are the benchmark that we look at,” he explained. “They’ve got some quality players and a fantastic infrastructure.
“Speaking with their staff after the game, they felt we deserved to get at least a draw from the game which is great.
“The players can take confidence from what they said and can hopefully push on from it.”
Bolton: Campbell, Nolan, Hendrie, Ball, Holding, Cvetko (Kennedy, 67), Bailey, Thomas, Walker (Knight, 20), Newby, Torres