Rob Hall features as youngsters slip to narrow defeat in TelfordIN BRIEF
Wanderers' Under-21s slipped to a 1-0 defeat against their Wolverhampton Wanderers counterparts at Telford on Wednesday evening.
Entering the clash having drawn 3-3 with Newcastle United in their league opener last Monday, the Whites found themselves behind inside 12 minutes through George Swan's strike.
The hosts proceeded to come close to a second goal on a handful of occasions, but Wanderers themselves also had chances to draw level in the clash with Rob Hall and Zach Clough going close.
Despite their efforts however, it was to be in vain as despite a late rally by the Trotters, Wolves held out for the victory.
The home side began proceedings strongly, with Connor Hunte’s mazy run and consequent effort deflecting narrowly wide of the upright with three minutes on the clock.
With the hosts powering forward, Wanderers almost hit them against the run of play with Hall’s free-kick from distance, but the winger’s effort failed to trouble Aaron McCarey in the Wolves goal.
Having threatened early on however, the Molineux youngsters proceeded to take the lead with 12 minutes gone as Swan fired home on the half volley from an acute angle.
Buoyed by their goal, Wolves pushed forward again but were almost undone as Quade Taylor skipped around a number of defenders into the box, but the Bolton man was unable to capitalise on the opportunity.
The chance appeared to invigorate Wanderers with a flurry of attacks following, but Wolves’ Dominic Weeks was next to enjoy a shot on target as his vicious effort stung the hands of Ross Fitzsimons.
The game then appeared to fall into a lull of sorts until shortly before the half hour mark when Eusebio Bancessi tricked his way inside the box before finding himself one on one with the Bolton keeper, only to slam his shot into the side netting.
Straight from Fitzsimons’ goal-kick however, Wanderers almost had an equaliser as Georg Iliev unleashed a powerful strike at McCarey from a tight angle, but the Wolves shot stopper was on his guard and parried the ball away for a corner.
Having proven himself a nuisance throughout the opening stages of the clash, Hall worked his way into the box before pulling the ball back for an advancing Bolton body with 36 minutes gone, but Zach Clough’s resulting shot was held by the Wolves keeper.
Just five minutes later, Tom Youngs looked certain to level the scores after Hall’s free-kick caused a melee in the Wolves box, but the youngster hit the ball straight at McCarey with the goal at his mercy.
As the clock ran down, the home side pushed to extend their lead but their efforts were to prove fruitless as their advantage remained at just the one goal at the half time break.
Inside an evenly contested opening period to the second half, neither side tested their respective goalkeepers until six minutes in when James Kellerman’s curling strike ensured that Fitzsimons was on his guard.
The same Wolves man was in the thick of the action again just minutes later, but this time his effort was high and wide of the goalmouth under pressure from the Bolton defence.
Wanderers proceeded to stand firm, but their resistance was almost broken as with 56 minutes on the clock Bancessi collected the ball on the edge of the box before drilling an effort goalbound, but the Wolves youngster saw his shot whisk inches wide of Fitzsimons’ post.
Hunte and Bancessi nearly combined for the hosts’ second of the game on the hour mark as the latter connected with the former’s whipped cross with a diving header, but saw the ball skim the crossbar.
Wolves’ full-backs both looked to have extended their lead just a minute later as both Ben O’Hanlon and then Ryan Rainey thundered shots at goal, only for Fitzsimons to deny the pair at close range.
The Bolton goalkeeper was on form again with 65 minutes gone as Dominic Iorfa's powerful header from a corner came his way, reacting well to parry his effort away from danger.
Having withstood a period of Wolves pressure, Youngs and Iliev combined well in the final third with the latter collecting the ball 12 yards from goal, but the striker's final effort failed to hit the target.
As the game entered its final stages, Wanderers pushed in search of an equaliser and look set to earn it with 12 minutes remaining as Hall found an unmarked Zach Clough in front of goal, but the frontman somehow put his header wide of the mark.
With three minutes to go and with the Whites in the ascendancy, Hall found Niall Maher with a pin-point corner, only for the full-back's header to float agonisingly over the bar, while the winger almost turned goalscorer moments later as McCarey's outstretched palm pushed his drive around the post.
Wanderers did push in added time as Wolves found themselves on the back foot, but the hosts held out for all three points.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Maher, Taylor, Holding, Finney, Hughes, Youngs (Woolery 79), Walker, Iliev, Clough, Hall
Subs not used: Ball, Campbell, Bastos, Garratt
Wolves: McCarey, Rainey, O’Hanlon, Weeks (Erdei 79), Iorfa, Swan, Bancessi, Torras, Keita (Reid 74), Kellerman, Hunte (Carter 85)
Subs not used: Flatt, Ronan