Jamie Thomas with the decisive strike as the club's youngsters bounce back with victory over their Molineux counterparts
Bolton’s under-18 side bounced back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday morning.
Having raced into a two goal half time lead courtesy of a brace from Will Abbotts, the hosts did hit back after the restart through Regan Carthy but Jamie Thomas restored Wanderers’ advantage shortly after.
The hosts did notch again from the penalty spot as the game drew to its conclusion, but it was ultimately in vain as the Whites held out for all three points.
As the game got underway, the hosts were keen to keep possession with it taking until the tenth minute for the Whites to get a chance in front of goal with Elliot Newby teeing up Thomas whose deflected shot was mopped up by defender Aaron Hayden.
Newby found himself with an opportunity on the quarter hour mark following William Abbotts’ through ball, but the winger shot wide.
After a bright start, Bolton proceeded to go one up with 20 minutes gone as a fierce Thomas shot saw Abbotts reacting quickest to put the rebound into the net.
A shot on the swivel moments later from Thomas could have doubled the visitors’ lead but his effort flew past the post.
With half an hour gone, Thomas then took a free kick that curled beautifully through the Black Country wind but captain James Ball couldn't quite connect and the ball ran all the way through to keeper Harry Burgoyne.
Moments later and a similar in-swinger this time from the home side’s Ashley Carter eventually found Albert Torres whose effort flew over Campbell's crossbar.
Leading up to the break both sides enjoyed chances, Abbotts having a scuffed shot from distance which sailed past the post and then Wolves' Jesse Deevers fired wide following a counter attack.
On the stroke of half time and with his eyes lit up, Whites' midfielder Carl Kennedy shot from distance on the half volley after the ball sat up nicely, but his effort went wide with a number of his teammates in support.
Seconds later Kennedy made amends however as a pinpoint cross from the attacking left found Abbotts’ head to see the Whites go in at the break two goals to the good.
Much like the first half the second started slowly, with Wolves bringing on Matthew Ntoumenopolous to try and turn things around.
The first chance of the second half came when Wolves right back Ryan Rainey came inside and fired goalbound, but his shot sailed past Campbell's near post while Romanian Under-20 international Carlo Erdie had a shot which the wind took over after some neat build up play.
With an hour gone, Newby went on a tangled run turning Rainey inside out but he couldn't put the cherry on the cake as he ran the ball into Burgoyne's hands.
With 20 minutes left, Wolves substitute Regan Carthy jumped highest unmarked and headed in from a wind assisted corner to bring the home side back into the game.
Moments later and Ntoumenopolous had Campbell at full stretch with an effort from the edge of the box which on another day might have found the corner, but the Bolton keeper denied him.
The hosts continued to push in search of an equaliser with a powerful shot from the advanced Rainey going straight down Campbell's throat.
With Wolves committing bodies forward, Thomas unselfishly put though Newby with the youngster looking as though he was set to put the result beyond doubt, but the keeper saved well with his feet from the one on one.
With five minutes remaining it was then Thomas' turn to shoot but no one could get on the end of his parried shot.
It did not matter however as seconds later it was Abbotts’ time to turn creator with a lovely pass into Thomas allowing his strike partner to side foot the ball into the corner of the net.
Heading into stoppage time, Wolves packed the Bolton box in the hope of forcing a late rally and a foul by Ball saw the hosts awarded a penalty which Ibrahim Keifa coolly converted.
There was an extended period of injury time and with Wolves throwing everything forward including the goalkeeper, one last corner saw Campbell bravely tip the ball over the bar whilst back peddling and banging his head on the post in the process.
Bolton saw out Wolves’ threat resolutely however to pick up three valuable points on their travels and complete a league double over the Molineux youngsters.
Bolton: Campbell, Greenhaugh, Garrett, Ball (C), Honeyball, Kennedy, Hinchcliffe, Burke, Abbotts, Thomas, Newby.
Wolves: Burgoyne, Rainey, Carter, Weeks, Pedersen, Hayden, Erdie, Murray (Carthy), Keifa, Deevers (Ntoumenopolous), Torres