Wanderers’ under-18 side slipped to their first defeat of the calendar year with a narrow 2-1 reverse at the hands of their Newcastle United counterparts on Saturday afternoon.
Heading into the clash on the back of four successive league victories, the club’s youngsters came up against a stubborn Magpies outfit who had themselves won their last six games.
With confidence high, Bolton had started the brighter of the two sides with the Whites’ frontline peppering the United goal with efforts early on.
Their hard work however was undone soon after as the hosts raced into a two goal lead through Callum Roberts and Joe Kerridge following mistakes in the Bolton backline.
A bitter pill to swallow for David Lee and Tony Kelly’s side, they did not let the knock back deter them and set about looking to force their way back into the clash.
Fresh from their goals against Manchester United last time out, Jamie Thomas and Elliot Newby both enjoyed glorious opportunities to halve the deficit but were denied by a number of excellent saves from the Newcastle United goalkeeper.
As the half drew to its conclusion, Aaron Knight also went close for Bolton but the striker was thwarted by the seemingly unbeatable United goalkeeper.
With the second period well and truly underway, Wanderers were still the team in the ascendancy and continued to force the Magpies’ keeper into more impressive saves to keep the Whites at bay.
Following more efforts from Tom Walker, Sam Bailey and Thomas however, the visitors were finally rewarded for their determination as Aaron Knight pulled a goal back with a well taken free-kick on the hour mark.
A richly deserved strike, Wanderers pushed for an equaliser as the clock ran down and looked to have snatched a point late on as Thomas rattled a free-kick against the crossbar, but their hard work was to be in vain as the Magpies held out for all three points.
Admittedly disappointed with the final result, coach Lee explained that he couldn’t have asked much more of his players in a game which he felt they were incredibly unfortunate to leave empty handed.
“We were by far the better team throughout – we created several one on one situations and if we’d have converted them and been more clinical, it could well have been a completely different result,” he said following the final whistle.
“We conceded goals through individual errors which was disappointing, but we continued to dominate the game after that.
"Overall, we were pleased with the application, desire and attitude of the players throughout the game and it is something that we will be looking to replicate when we play Manchester City on Saturday.”
Bolton: Campbell, Bailey, Garratt, Honeyball, Greenaugh, Kennedy, Hinchcliffe (Hamer, 65), Walker, Knight, Thomas, Newby.