Youngsters defeated in difficult conditions in Hyde
Wanderers’ under-21 side suffered a 4-0 defeat against their Manchester City counterparts at a rain sodden Ewen Fields on Wednesday evening.
With torrential conditions plaguing the match from start to finish, the hosts opened the scoring through Seko Fofana shortly after the half hour mark with Sinan Bytyqi doubling their advantage soon after.
A harsh scoreline on the Whites, City proceeded to add another two goals after the restart through Devante Cole and Jordy Hiwula to ensure that they ran out handsome winners on the night.
In torrential conditions at Ewen Fields, the game began with some caution from both teams as the pitch played its part in the opening actions of the clash, but Wanderers almost took advantage of a loose ball inside three minutes as Conor Wilkinson broke free of the City defence.
Given his lethal record in front of goal not many would have expected the striker to miss, but he proceeded to fire the ball narrowly over the crossbar.
Despite a seemingly sluggish start however, the Blues sent out a warning sign in the tenth minute as Marcos Lopes turned his man in the area before slamming his effort against the post with Jay Lynch beaten.
The chance appeared to rejuvenate Patrick Vieira’s side, with Lynch saving well from an unmarked Greg Leigh’s header shortly after while Fofana forced the Bolton keeper down low with a scorching shot.
Having been forced to defend deeply for a stint, Wanderers almost shocked the home side when Tom Youngs broke on the counter attack and scurried goalbound, but the youngster couldn’t keep his shot down with the goal at his mercy.
No sooner had the Whites enjoyed one chance, another went begging a matter of minutes later as Rob Hall scampered through a crowded City midfield and unleashed the ball towards goal, but his scuffed effort failed to test Ian Lawlor.
Chaos ensued in the City penalty area in the 28th minute as Wilkinson, Youngs and Hall all enjoyed shots in quick succession, but a resilient Blues’ defence ensured that their efforts were cleared away.
Just a minute later, Wilkinson looked certain to hand Bolton the lead as he delicately slotted the ball under the advancing Lawlor, but Shay Facey was to spare his goalkeeper’s blushes as he deflected the goalbound effort away for a corner.
After withstanding a tirade of Wanderers pressure, City did punish the visitors for not capitalising on their dominance as Fofana fired home from just outside the penalty area with 31 minutes gone.
A harsh goal for the Whites to concede, the hosts proceeded to double their lead six minutes later through Bytyqi whose long range effort squirmed under the body of Lynch with the sodden conditions at Ewen Fields ultimately playing their part.
Buoyed by their two goals, City turned on the style as the half drew to its conclusion with a handful of other chances going begging, but Wanderers defended resiliently to ensure that the half ended with the deficit at two.
With conditions still proving to be a nuisance as the second period, the first notable chance of the half didn’t appear until the 50th minute when Cole forced Jay Lynch into a smart save at his near post.
Not to be denied however, the youngster proceeded to fire home City’s third in some style just a minute later, curling the ball into the top corner of the net with the Bolton goalkeeper given no chance.
The opportunity seemed to dampen Wanderers’ spirits somewhat, with the hosts peppering the Bolton goal with shots following Cole’s strike in a bid to extend the lead.
Following a period of sustained pressure from the hosts and with another strike seemingly imminent, City did extend their lead with 68 minutes gone through Hiwula who bundled home from close range.
A scoreline which was undoubtedly harsh on the Whites, the visitors threw on both Zach Clough and Chris Lester in the closing stages in a bid to reduce the deficit.
As the clock ran down, both Hall and Luke Woodland enjoyed opportunities to pull a goal back for Bolton with the former’s well taken free-kick ensuring that Lawlor was on his guard, but their efforts were ultimately in vain as City held out to record a handsome victory.
Manchester City: Lawlor, Drury, Facey, Denaye (Bossaertsw, 70), Leigh, Glendon (Byrne, 67), Fofana, Lopes, Bytyqi (Ntcham, 63), Cole, Hiwula
Subs not used: O'Brien, Plummer
Wanderers: Lynch, Threlkeld, Kellett, Holding, Bolger, Vela, Odelusi, Woodland, Wilkinson (Clough, 63), Youngs (Lester, 76), Hall
Subs not used: Campbell, Iliev, Walker