U18s: Blackburn 2-3 Bolton

Youngsters secure maximum points against their Lancashire counterparts

Wanderers’ Under 18 side recorded their second consecutive league victory with an impressive 3-2 win away at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday morning.

The Whites started brightly and within the opening 60 seconds, they had their first attack as winger Tom Walker beat his man to whip in a fantastic ball across the face of goal, but unfortunately no one was able to get on the end of it.

Wanderers’ perseverance would pay off ten minutes later though as Blackburn captain Ian Vicars was undone with Walker’s mazy run which culminated in his shot being blocked, but the ball fell into the path of Christopher Cvetko on the edge of the box, with the striker drilling home past Rovers goalkeeper Callum Williams.

The next five minutes took a similar pattern as both Bolton full backs struck shots from distance which sailed past the post.

Blackburn weathered the storm however and a dangerous ball in the 22nd minute found the feet of number ten Yercey Torres who calmly slotted the ball past Harry Campbell to level the scores.

Just after the half hour mark, the hosts could have doubled their lead but Brice Wassi's powerful first time shot went well wide with the Lancashire wind contributing to proceedings as it did throughout the game.

Bolton had the final effort of the half when captain Sam Bailey found himself unmarked but his effort was down the throat of Williams. 

Just like in the first half, Bolton started the second on top and Newby's trickery ended in a pull back to William Abbotts, but his shot was comfortably saved early on.

The tempo built by the Whites was upheld and in the 56th minute, Cvetko scored a replica of his opener by firing home with ease, much to the delight of his teammates. 

Despite taking the lead though, the Whites were pegged back yet again just ten minutes later following some good build up play from left back Jack Doyle, with George Pierce connecting with the ball to bring Rovers back onto level terms.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes it was obvious to see that both sides were keen to secure all three points with chances going begging at both ends of the pitch.

Wanderers looked certain to snatch the victory as Jamie Thomas out-muscled centre half Will Butterwick, but the youngster was unable to capitalise as when one on one with the keeper, he tamely fired into the Williams' hands.

His partner up top Abbotts, who had caused problems for the home defence throughout the morning, was replaced by fellow striker Guillermo Torres to freshen up the front line inside the closing stages.

The substitution almost paid off straight away when Walker whipped one of his trademark crosses into the box as he did throughout and after out jumping both centre halves, the Spaniard was unlucky not to score with a header.

Bolton made their second and final substitution with five minutes remaining as Jamie Hinchcliffe replaced Thomas, and after a fruitless handball claim in the Whites’ penalty box was waved away by the referee the two subs combined to score Wanderers’ winner.

A powerful low driven cross from the right hand side from Hinchcliffe had the Blackburn defence at sixes and sevens, with Torres swivelling and unleashing a half volley into the back of the net to put Bolton in front for a third time in the game.

There was to be no comeback from Rovers this time though, with the Whites seeing out injury time untroubled.

David Lee and Tony Kelly's side will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of victories when they take on Everton next Saturday afternoon at the club's Lostock academy.

Bolton: Campbell, Bailey, Garratt, Ball, Honeyball, Kennedy, Newby, Cvetko, Abbotts (Torres), Thomas (Hinchcliffe), Walker

Blackburn: Williams, Vicars, Doyle, Butterwick, Lavelle, Pierce, Harris, Wassi (Langford), Joel, Torres, Cham

Read Time: 4 mins