Youngsters defeated on home soil by their Baggies counterparts
Bolton Wanderers fell to a 3-1 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at the County Ground on Monday evening.
Shaun Donnellan and Chike Kandi fired the Baggies into a two-goal, and despite Ryan Sellers halving the deficit with a fierce strike as Wanderers looked to fight their way back into the match, a late Adil Nabi goal sealed the win for the visitors.
Harry Campbell started in goal in place of Ross Fitzsimons, while there was also a place in the starting XI for Chris Lester.
Elsewhere Ryan Sellers was a last-minute addition to the side, coming in for Niall Maher who was injured in the warm-up.
In what was a fast-paced start to the first half, both sides had their chances to open the scoring in the opening five minutes, with only the fine goalkeeping of both Harry Campbell and Jack Rose ensuring the game stayed goalless.
Chris Lester had the first chance of the match after his own quickly-taken free-kick eventually fell back to him inside the penalty area, but he was unable to beat Rose with a fierce side-footed effort, the West Brom keeper getting down well to keep the strike out.
Moments later the Baggies had their first opportunity themselves as Chike Kandi cut in from the left-hand side. The forward unleashed a fine curling effort from range, which seemed destined to nestle in the top right-hand corner, only for Campbell to dive full-stretch and get fingertips to the ball at the last possible moment.
Rob Hall looked lively for Wanderers, having a tap-in disallowed for offside before trying his luck from the edge of the box with an acrobatic volley, but they were to be the only chances the Whites created before West Brom took the lead.
Coming from a Kemar Roofe corner, Shaun Donnellan lost his man at the near post before beating Campbell with a powerful side-footed strike.
Rather than sit back after taking the lead, West Brom quickly pushed on as they chased a second, seeing Campbell coming sprinting off his line to deny Kandi when the forward was one-on-one, before Liam O’Neil rattled the crossbar with a fine 30-yard strike.
Bolton looked to respond when Hall sprinted down the left-hand side, showing clever footwork to beat two defenders before pulling the back to Georg Iliev, only for the Trotters’ number nine to get the ball stuck under his feet and scuff his strike off-target.
With Kandi and Adil Nabi continuing to threaten in attack for the Baggies, Campbell was called into action again moments before the interval, standing his ground well to deny the latter and ensure Wanderers went in at the break only a goal behind.
The Whites started the second half on the back foot and soon fell further behind as Kandi found space in the area, allowing him to double his side’s lead.
However, Bolton, awakened by falling further behind, responded almost immediately through Ryan Sellers; Zach Clough’s scissor kick falling kindly to the late addition to the starting line-up, allowing him to pick his spot before thundering home to half the deficit.
Pushing for an equaliser, the Trotters threw bodies forward as the half wore on but it was West Brom who had the next major opportunity to score, Rees Wedderburn hitting the inside of the post with a fierce 25-yard strike.
Tom Walker and Kaiyne Woolery joined the action as Wanderers continued to attack, and it was the latter who nearly levelled the scores, instinctively flinging a boot at Zach Clough’s header inside the six-yard box, only to see his strike blocked.
But in the dying embers of the game West Brom scored their third as Roofe picked out Nabi inside the penalty area, leaving the forward with an easy finish, and leaving the Whites resigned to defeat.
Wanderers: Campbell, White, Sellers, Holding, Taylor, Vela (Walker 70), Lester, Woodland, Iliev (Woolery 80), Clough, Hall
Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, Campbell-Young, Youngs
WBA: Rose, Smart, Garmston, Pace (Ward 65), Donnellan, Howkins, Leko (Wedderburn 60), O'Neil, Kandi (S.Nabi 77), A.Nabi, Roofe
Unused subs: Palmer, Barrow, S.Nabi