Jake Turner and Jamie Thomas both receive special praise from manager as Bolton progress in FA Youth Cup
Bolton Wanderers Under-18s manager David Lee was delighted with his side’s FA Youth Cup victory against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, having seen injury and illness affect his squad in recent weeks.
Jamie Thomas scored the only goal of the game in the second half to secure the Whites’ place in the fourth round of the competition, while debutant Jake Turner was also in impressive form, the Under-16s goalkeeper denying the hosts a late equaliser on a number of occasions.
Reviewing his side’s performance, Lee was full of praise for his players, sharing his pleasure at a well-deserved victory.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game against Portsmouth,” said Lee. “I’d been down to watch them against Thamesmead in the second round and they were a very effective, physical team.
“They showed that again. They threw everything at us but we were resolute. It was a battle but the lads showed character.
“When you have a goalscorer like Jamie Thomas, who is always going to put the ball in the back of the net for you, you’re always going to have a chance of victory.
“For his goal he used his pace and power well to get into the box and then when he found himself one-on-one with the keeper then there was only ever going to be one outcome.”
Lee continued: “Portsmouth bombarded us with balls into the box as they looked for an equaliser and won quite a few second balls and rebounds, but credit to young Jake, who I thought had a very good game, he was always there to mop up for us.
“His performance tonight went beyond all expectations. I’m delighted for him. He had a big smile on his face after the match. It was his first game at this level and I was really pleased with his contribution, and all the lads in the dressing room definitely are too.
“Overall I think we edged it and deserved the win. To do so with the number of players we’ve had out in recent weeks makes it even more satisfying.”