U18s: Preston 2-5 Bolton

Youngsters secure emphatic victory in friendly clash

Wanderers' Under 18 side continued their preparations for a return to league action with a 5-2 friendly victory away at Preston North End on Saturday.

The club’s youngsters’ first outing following their Christmas break, David Lee and Tony Kelly’s side raced into an early lead through Jamie Thomas with just 15 minutes on the clock, with Tom Walker delivering a pinpoint cross for Will Abbotts to double the Whites’ advantage ten minutes later.

A thorn in the Lilywhites’ side throughout the game, Walker then turned goalscorer following an excellent solo run, eventually firing home from an acute angle before North End pulled a goal back shortly before half time.

Having dominated proceedings during the first period, Wanderers made sure of the result in the second half as Elliott Newby secured a brace, firstly connecting with Walker’s cross and secondly combining well with substitute Sam Bailey late on to complete the rout.

Preston had reduced the deficit with another consolation goal after Newby’s first strike, but the result was never in doubt as the Whites ran out comfortable winners.

Speaking following the clash, coach Lee admitted his delight at the way in which his side dominated the clash and how professional their performance was against the Deepdale outfit.

“We played very well with some superb phases of play – we dominated the game in both periods and it was incredibly pleasing to see,” he said.

“We created a lot of excellent goal scoring opportunities and arguably could have scored more, but the pleasing thing was how we converted the chances that we did.”

He added: “It was a fantastic response after the Christmas break and a great result for the team. 

“We’re going to lose Tom Walker this week as he goes away with England Under 18s on a training camp, but we’ll be looking to take the confidence from this result into our first league game of the year against Blackburn next weekend.”

Bolton: Bukran, Alexander, Greenaugh, Honeyball, Garratt, Kennedy (Bailey), Newby, Cvetko, Thomas, Abbotts (Torres), Walker (Hinchcliffe)
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