Youngsters run out comfortable winners in Leyland
Wanderers’ development squad ensured that their Manchester FA Senior Challenge Cup campaign ended on a high with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Bury at the County Ground.
Oscar Threlkeld opened the scoring for the Whites half way through the first period, with Jan Gregus putting the hosts well and truly in control of the clash with a well-taken free-kick shortly after.
Despite a spirited second half rally from the Shakers however, Sanmi Odelusi’s late strike extinguished any faint hopes of a comeback and ensured that Bolton bowed out of the competition with a win.
Bury started the brighter of the two sides, with Euan Holden – the younger brother of Wanderers’ midfielder Stuart – flashing an ambitious shot narrowly past the post inside five minutes.
Almost immediately however, the Whites enjoyed a glorious chance of their own as Zach Clough connected with Georg Iliev’s cross, but Reice Charles-Cook was equal to his powerful effort from just inside the area.
Having withstood a period of early pressure from the visitors, it was clear to see that Wanderers were slowly settling into the game with Iliev rounding the Shakers’ keeper with 15 minutes gone, but the striker failed to control the ball with the goal at his mercy.
With the hosts well and truly in control, Wanderers took a deserved lead in the 23rd minute as Threlkeld stabbed the ball home from six yards after Odelusi’s header had rebounded off the crossbar.
Bury however almost drew themselves back onto level terms just a minute later as Ashley Grimes found himself in space in the area, but Harry Campbell did well to palm away his header from close range.
The opportunity appeared to give the Shakers a boost, but their response was short lived as Wanderers doubled their advantage through Gregus’ free-kick from all of 30 yards shortly after the half hour mark.
A seemingly innocuous strike, the ball appeared to bobble in front of the Bury keeper and squeezed into the corner of the net.
As the half drew to its conclusion, Clough and Odelusi enjoyed a number of chances to extend Bolton’s lead, but their efforts ultimately came to nothing.
Bury appeared to emerge from the dressing room following the restart with a renewed sense of optimism, Marco Navas curling his shot just past the upright a matter of moments into the second half.
Wanderers were soon back on the attack though, with Youngs just failing to connect with Odelusi’s ball with just the keeper to beat.
With chances becoming few and far between, the Shakers enjoyed two glorious opportunities to half the deficit on the hour mark, with Threlkeld clearing Gareth Roberts’ shot off the line and Grimes curling his shot just past the far post.
No sooner had Bury found space however, the Whites were back in the hunt for a third with Odelusi, Youngs and Luke Woodland forcing Charles-Cook into consecutive saves.
Despite a period of pressure from the visitors however, Bolton soon added to their tally through Odelusi who powered the ball into the roof of the net from a matter of yards out with 20 minutes left.
With victory almost certainly assured for Wanderers, the Shakers went close to grabbing a consolation late on through Boateng and substitute Sam Dickinson, but Campbell was on hand to deny the pair and ensure victory for Bolton.
Bolton: Campbell, White, Matthews, Threlkeld, Holding, Woodland (Kelly, 71), Odelusi (Walker, 75), Gregus, Iliev (Knight, 67), Clough, Youngs
Subs not used: Ball, Newby
Bury: Charles-Cook, Potter, Roberts, Edjenguele, Boateng, Holden, Navas, Grimes, O’Connor, Rooney, Jeffers (Dickinson, 70)
Subs not used: Walker, Barber, Reindorf, Poscha