Youngsters pick up sixth win in seven league outings with victory over their Stoke counterparts
Wanderers’ under-18 side overcame an early deficit to record a 2-1 victory away at Stoke on Saturday afternoon.
Despite going in at the break a goal down, Christopher Cvetko and Jamie Thomas each got themselves on the score sheet to ensure that the Whites returned home with all three points.
The game started in Wanderers’ favour, with forward Thomas’ strike being deflected wide once it dropped to him from Elliot Newby's bobbled set up.
Shortly after, Cvetko powered forward before letting fly with a shot which had the Potters' keeper Dale Eve scrambling but his effort was collected to safety.
Wanderers went close again soon after as Will Abbotts chased down a back pass to Eve and was unlucky not to put Bolton one up as the shot stopper fired the ball against him, but his blushes were spared.
Stoke came in the game midway through the first half with an inspired counter attack from a Bolton corner which culminated in a cheeky halfway line shot from Yusuf Coban who noticed Harry Campbell off his line, but it ultimately came to nothing.
Following this, Stoke defender Kieran Monlouis advanced and teed up Derice Richards who in turn produced a curling shot from distance which had Campbell at full stretch.
It was Jake Cook who set up Richards just moments later, but Campbell as previously was on his toes to quickly to react and smother the ball.
This period of pressure from the hosts however paid dividend after 27 minutes when midfielder Joel Taylor neatly finished after an acute through ball from Monlouis.
Not to be deterred however, Thomas went close to pulling Wanderers back into the game on two occasions - first with a swivel shot which was blocked and then a free kick which Eve saved after it had curled round the organised wall from 25 yards.
Stoke's Cook, Monlouis and Richards all linked up just before the break to produce an attempt, but the Whites kept the deficit at one as Campbell thwarted the Potters’ attack.
The teams came out into the sunshine for the second half and as with the first, Bolton created the first chance as Newby was denied at the back post by a last ditch challenge from captain Sanders.
With 50 minutes gone, goalscorer Taylor could have doubled his side’s lead, but his direct free kick from distance was comfortable for Campbell to clasp.
Just before the hour mark though, Wanderers did duly level the scores as Cvetko’s curling cross into the penalty area deceived everybody and went straight past the assembled contingency into the back of the net.
Just minutes later however, Stoke almost retook the lead as Coban, goal scorer Taylor and Richards combined in tidy fashion but the latter’s quick fire effort was thwarted by a magnificent one-handed reflex save from Campbell.
The game really came alive in the final 25 minutes, with Newby being denied a contentious penalty from the referee while Abbotts saw his double header rattle the crossbar then agonisingly rebound wide.
With 15 minutes to go however, the turnaround was complete as Jamie Hinchcliffe found his team mate Thomas who delicately finished from just inside Eve’s box.
The score was nearly levelled again with ten minutes remaining when substitute Lee Pickerill was unlucky not to score but for the remarkable one handed reflex save from Campbell at the far post.
As the game entered its final five minutes Thomas almost had a second as he danced into the box, dropped a shoulder and came inside, but he saw his effort scuffed over the crossbar.
The result looked to have been put beyond doubt in the last minute of normal time as Jack Greenhaugh laid the ball off to Thomas who shot first time with the inside of his boot, with Eve parrying upwards and the wind dropping the ball over the line behind the despairing keeper.
To Wanderers’ dismay however, the assistant referee didn’t award the goal and the scoreline remained as it was at the final whistle – the youngsters’ sixth win in seven league outings.
Bolton: Campbell, Greenhaugh (Bailey), Garratt, Honeyball, Ball (C), Kennedy, Hinchcliffe, Cvetko, Abbotts, Thomas, Newby.
Stoke: Eve, Cook, Strong, Monlouis, Sanders (C), Edwards, Taylor (Pickerill), Renee-Pringle, Richards, Coban, Shenton