Youngsters suffer defeat against their Black Cats counterparts
Wanderers’ under-18 side slipped to a 4-1 defeat against their Sunderland counterparts at Lostock on Saturday afternoon.
Having fallen behind early on, captain James Ball did pull the Whites level with a back post header but the Black Cats retook the lead before the break before scoring a further two goals after the restart to put the result out of sight.
As the game got underway, it was to be the visitors who enjoyed the first chance of the game with midfielder Martin Smith shooting from the edge of the Bolton box, but goalkeeper Harry Campbell cleanly caught his effort.
Bolton's Christopher Cvetko had a similar effort saved by the Black Cats' shot stopper Peter Burke a few moments later, but the away side went ahead against the run of play with ten minutes on the clock.
Some great build up play and quick passing from McCarthey, Gooch and then Smith culminated in an outstretched save from Campbell to his right hand side but unfortunately for him, the shot was parried into defender Joshua Robson's path who calmly tapped the ball in to the net.
Sunderland's celebrations however were short lived when shortly afterwards Ball towered above the Black Cats’ defence to connect with Elliot Newby’s corner and equalise just inside the far post.
The goal appeared to rejuvenate Wanderers, but Rees Greenwood was to draw blood with 38 minutes gone as he first turned Ball then advanced with a powerful run that was finished with a drilled shot that the unsighted Campbell could only get his fingertips to.
As with the first goal Bolton reacted well, with the Wearside outfit being forced to defend deeply as they tried to hang on to their goal lead.
Just before the break Sunderland's Greenwood could have had his second and Sunderland’s third, but some poor control from defender Ethan Robson's through ball cost him dearly, while Will Abbotts was unfortunate on the stroke of half time as a mishit Burke clearance rebounded off him but went shy of the post.
As the second period got underway, Abbotts was involved again as he used his pace to play the ball to Jamie Hinchcliffe whose mishit effort inadvertently fell in to the path of Carl Kennedy, but the youngster couldn't get enough power in his shot to trouble the Sunderland keeper.
Just before the hour mark however, Sunderland extended their lead in fortuitous circumstances as striker Lynden Gooch pulled the ball back to the advancing Robson whose point blank shot caught Harry Campbell by surprise, with the ball looping over the goalkeeper to leave substitute Jordan Blinco with the easiest of finishes.
The Whites’ keeper redeemed himself moments later however when he made a superb reflex save at close proximity from Gooch's effort to keep the deficit at two.
In a game void of much action, Bolton found themselves back in the ascendency with 20 minutes remaining with Jamie Thomas shooting wide and then Newby having a neat volley saved as it went down the middle of Burke’s goal.
This was to be the last chance for the Whites though as having committed men forward, Sunderland broke on the counter and the tiring legs of left back Jack Greenhaugh caught Greenwood just inside the box, with the youngster stepping up and converting the spot-kick in off the post.
As the game entered stoppage time, Cvetko almost snatched a consolation with his distanced free kick while Abbotts’ shot which cannoned into the path of Bailey was comfortably saved by Black Cats’ keeper Burke.
A scoreline which undoubtedly flattered the visitors, David Lee and Tony Kelly's side will be hoping to bounce back away at Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.
Bolton: Campbell, Bailey, Ball, Honeyball, Greenhaugh, Kennedy, Cvetko, Hinchcliffe, Abbott's, Thomas (Torres), Newby.
Sunderland: Burke, Ellison, J Robson, E Robson, Coiquhoun, Ledger, McCarthy (Molyneux), Smith (Embleton), Gooch, Greenwood, Wright (Blinco)