Youngsters secure comfortable win in Manchester FA Senior Cup at County Ground
Goals from Rob Hall, Conor Wilkinson, Zach Clough and Georg Iliev saw Wanderers clinch a comfortable 4-2 victory in the Manchester FA Senior Cup over Oldham Athletic in front of watching manager Dougie Freedman.
With all goals coming in a fast-paced first half, Hall and Wilkinson fired the Whites into an early two-goal lead before Jack Tuomy halved the deficit.
Clough put Bolton 3-1 ahead, and despite Amari Morgan-Smith once again pulling one back for Oldham with a fierce indirect free-kick, Iliev secured the win with the Trotters’ fourth on the half-hour mark, firing home the rebound from his initial saved penalty.
Wanderers named an experienced side for their Manchester FA Senior Cup clash with Oldham Athletic.
Hayden White captained the side, while there were also starts for Rob Hall, Oscar Threlkeld, Joshua Vela and Conor Wilkinson.
Having started the game brightly, Wanderers were unfortunate not to take an early lead as Conor Wilkinson blocked goalkeeper Joel Coleman’s clearance forward, only to see the divert harmlessly onto the roof of the net.
The Whites did not have to wait long to take the lead however, as Rob Hall opened the scoring, running onto Zach Clough’s through ball before calmly slotting the ball beyond Coleman into the back of the net.
Alerted to Coleman’s tendency to dawdle on the ball, Wilkinson doubled Bolton’s lead moments, stealing possession from the Oldham keeper after he was caught daydreaming on the edge of the penalty area before curling the ball into the empty net.
Jack Tuomy pulled one back for Oldham almost immediately, firing home at the far post, but the Trotters restored their two-goal lead through Clough, as the youngster raced into the penalty area before placing the into the bottom left hand corner.
However, an indirect free kick inside the penalty area presented Oldham with the chance to half the deficit once again soon after, allowing Amari Morgan-Smith to hammer the ball past the unsighted Ross Fitzimsons.
Wanderers were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark following a handball in the area, allowing Georg Iliev to step up with the chance of doubling the Whites’ lead once more.
The forward saw his tame spot-kick saved as Coleman guessed correctly to his left, however Iliev was alert enough to follow his initial strike and poke home Bolton’s fourth.
Wilkinson was unfortunate not to make it 5-2 just before the break as he spotted Coleman off his line, only to see his curling strike from distance to clip the bar on its way over, ensuring the Trotters remained just two goals ahead as the sides went in at the break.
Looking to attack straight from kick-off, it was Wanderers who had the first chance of the second half as Hall curled a low 25-yard free kick at goal, but the winger was unable to find a way past Coleman.
With opportunities limited as both sides struggled to replicate the pace of the first half, Oldham looked to retain possession as they fought to find a way back into the match.
And it was Latics who created the next major opportunity after Jordan Bove found space in the Whites’ box, but the forward was unable to hit the target as his strike clipped the post before rebounding behind.
Channing Campbell-Young, Chris Lester and Kaine Woolery all joined the action with 15 minutes to go as Bolton looked to clinch victory once and for all.
And while Bolton were unable to extend their lead, they managed to see out the game with ease despite late Oldham pressure.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, White, Maher, Threlkeld, Taylor, Vela (Campbell-Young 75), Iliev (Lester 75), Woodland, Wilkinson (Woolery 75), Clough, Hall
Unused subs: Holding, Campbell
Oldham: Coleman, Turner (Walters 82), Mellor, Ellison, Edmundson, Tidser (Etches 75), Brown, Tuomy, Bove, Morgan-Smith, Dayton (Tansinder 63)
Unused subs: Renshaw