U21s: Spurs 2-5 Bolton

Hat-trick for Georg Iliev as youngsters overcome two-goal deficit against their Tottenham counterparts


Georg Iliev hit a hat-trick as Wanderers’ under-21 side overcame a two goal deficit to run out 5-2 winners over ten-man Tottenham Hotspur on Monday afternoon.

The hosts had raced into an early lead courtesy of goals from Souleymane Coulibaly and Shaquile Coulthirst, but Tom Youngs and Chris Lester drew the Whites level in the second period.

Not satisfied with a point however, substitute Iliev hit a six minute treble inside the last 15 minutes of the game to secure all three points for Wanderers.


During the opening five minutes Bolton started the game with a good tempo, with Luke Woodland getting beyond his marker to head into Jordan Archer’s hands before Zach Clough ensured that Spurs keeper was on his guard with a well taken shot.

The early opportunities appeared to wake Spurs up and with ten minutes gone, Harry Kane enjoyed a mazy run but ultimately failed to test Jay Lynch in the Bolton goal.

Just a minute later however and the hosts appeared to have taken the lead through Coulthirst, but the winger was judged to be offside to Wanderers’ relief.

Hayden White was next up to cause problems in and around the Spurs area, with his low cross from the right flank on the quarter hour mark narrowly evading the advancing Bolton attack.

Settling into the game, Wanderers were dealt a blow a matter of minutes later as Lynch committed himself to a cross but unfortunately came off badly, with under-18 shot stopper Harry Campbell replacing him between the sticks.

Sadly for the youngster though, his first action was to pick the ball out of the net when a pinpoint Kenneth McEvoy corner found the head of Coulibaly who put the hosts in front against the run of play.           
Having broken the deadlock, Tottenham were now in the ascendancy and nearly doubled their lead as advancing defender Milos Veljkovic almost found the bottom corner with a swinging shot but his effort went wide.

Over the course of the next ten minutes, the Whites did enjoy opportunities on the break to pull a goal back with Woodland, Youngs and Sanmi Odelusi all squandering chances to equalise.

Wanderers’ inability to capitalise however left the door open for Spurs to extend their lead which they did so on the counter attack as Alex McQueen’s ball into the box met striker Coulthirst who made no mistake, finding the corner of the Bolton goal with a bullet of a header.

Rob Hall, a thorn in Spurs’ side throughout the afternoon, could have reduced the deficit from his neatly crafted powerful drive that had goalkeeper Archer beaten but unfortunately for the winger, the post was too and it went inches wide to ensure that the home side went into the break two to the good.


The second period, unlike the first, started slowly with Odelusi being the first to try his luck after a few step-overs to rile first teamer Danny Rose, but his effort went high over the bar.

Sandro Cordeiro, making his comeback from injury, had his afternoon ended prematurely after coming off second best in a challenge with Josh Vela, with Kane’s resulting free-kick failing to trouble Campbell.

Following a testing start to the half, it wasn’t until the hour mark that the first real opportunities would arise as Hall fired narrowly past the post with Archer beaten. 

Under the watchful eye of each team’s respective first team managers, the game was about to be completely turned on its head as in the 67th minute as Hall broke away from the Spurs defence with defender Dominic Hall recklessly bringing down the winger and conceding a penalty in the process.

Things were to get worse for the youngster however, with the referee brandishing a red card to him as Youngs took on the responsibility of beating Archer and he did so coolly, sending the keeper the wrong way to halve the deficit.

Now dominating proceedings, Wanderers introduced Lester and Iliev into the mix – substitutes which would prove crucial inside the final 20 minutes of the clash.

With 15 minutes left, the changes made by Bolton reaped dividends as Andy Kellett found Lester who headed home past Archer to equalise for the Whites.

In the 79th minute, Tottenham’s problems went from bad to worse as the defence of their ten man side got into a tangle, with the watching faithful watching in awe as Iliev gambled and bundled the ball into the back of the net to hand Wanderers the lead.

The striker, who recently was awarded with a professional contract by the club, continued to flourish and moments later unleashed an audacious drive which flew past Archer, with the flat footed Spurs defence only able to stare in disbelief as the Bulgarian wheeled away to celebrate.

Three minutes later, Hall, the man who started the comeback by winning the penalty, beat his man and found the force and desire of Iliev, with their link up ensuring that the forward completed his hat-trick to send the Bolton bench into raptures and secure a memorable victory for the visitors.

Bolton: Lynch (Campbell), Threlkeld, Kellett, White, Bolger, Vela, Odelusi, Woodland, Clough (Lester), Youngs (Iliev), Hall

Tottenham: Archer, A McQueen, Rose (Stewart), Veljkovic, Ball, Fryers, McEvoy, Sandro (Lameiras), Coulibaly, Kane (McEneff), Coulthirst
Read Time: 5 mins