Bolton Wanderers’ under-21 side opened their league campaign for the new season with a narrow defeat away at Sunderland on Monday afternoon.
Jamie Fullarton’s side, unbeaten throughout the course of pre-season, were edged out at the Academy of Light by a late Jordan Laidler goal.
Wanderers started in a positive fashion. Brazilian Andre Moritz, playing as one of three permitted overage players, crashed a long-range drive against the bar.
The hosts’ best chance of the half came on the 20 minute mark. Laidler engineered half-a-yard of space on the edge of the area before curling a left-footed effort narrowly wide of Jay Lynch’s post.
Lynch was then called into action moments before the interval, flying right to tip over the bar to once again deny Laidler from distance.
The second half was once again an evenly contested affair, with few clear-cut chances for either side.
The decisive moment came on 75 minutes. Laidler swept home Liam Marrs’ cross from the right wing to break the deadlock and ultimately seal all three points for the Black Cats despite a late Bolton onslaught.
Sunderland:Dixon, Marrs, Ferguson, Cattermole (Agnew, 45), Harrison, Bardsley (McNamee, 45), Watmore, Gorrin, Laidler, Knott (Honeyman, 65), Mitchell.
Bolton Wanderers: Lynch, White, Kellett, Threlkeld, Bolger, Vela, Clough, Gregus, Eaves, Moritz, Youngs