David Ngog took another positive step in his recuperation from a recent back strain, completing the full game and scoring for Wanderers’ under-21 development squad in a 2-0 win over West Ham United at Upton Park on Monday evening.
Fielded as one of three permitted overage players, Ngog and fellow strike partner Jack Sampson both scored after half time to secure victory in the capital.
Against an experienced Hammers outfit containing the likes French international Alou Diarra and seasoned campaigner Gary O’Neil, Bolton dealt well with some early first-half pressure.
Goalkeeper Jay Lynch was on hand to comfortably keep out James Tomkins’ header from a corner kick whilst George Moncur failed to capitalise on a rare defensive error from Wanderers.
Towering West Ham striker Paul McCallum was the focal point for the home side, and midway through the first period he bundled both Lynch and the ball over the goal-line only for the referee to cut short any celebrations by disallowing the goal.
From there on in, it was John Henry’s youngsters who began to assume control of the game.
Either side of half time Hammers stopper Stephen Henderson was called into action following long-range drives from Dylan Wolstenholme and Ngog.
Then, after some clever interplay involving diminutive full-back Andy Kellett, Joe McKee cut infield before bending a 25-yard effort narrowly over the bar, as Bolton continued to turn to the screw.
And that pressure eventually paid dividends on the hour mark.
Sampson capitalised on some sloppy defending before lashing home a stunning 35-yard screamer into Henderson’s bottom corner.
The home side did respond however, as O’Neil fired over the bar from point blank range and Sebastian Lletget saw an effort from inside the area blocked following a chaotic goalmouth scramble.
But Bolton doubled their lead on 79 minutes.
The ever-impressive Joe Riley picked out Sampson, whose shot was cannoned off the face of Tomkins and fell at the feet of Ngog. The Frenchman adjusted well, before calmly converting the loose ball and ultimately securing three points for Wanderers.
West Ham United:Henderson, Driver (Wearen 75), Tomkins, Chambers, Fanimo, O’Neil, Lletget (Vose 75), Diarra, Moncur, Hall, McCallum (Unused substitutes: Larkins, Hunt, Powell)
Wanderers: Lynch, Riley, Kellet, McQuade, Threlkeld, Blakeman, McKee, Kelly (Maher 64), Ngog, Wolstenholme, Sampson (Unused substitutes: Fielding, Hampson, Odelusi, Eaves)