Quade Taylor’s early header ensured Bolton Wanderers won the Manchester FA Senior Cup as they beat Manchester City at the City Football Academy on Sunday.
The defender powerfully finished from Tom Walker’s corner to fire the Whites ahead in the fifth minute, with Bolton never looking back as they clinched a comfortable win.
Kaiyne Woolery, Jamie Thomas and George Newell all went close to extending Bolton’s lead, while Harry Campbell produced two fine saves to deny Man City what looked like certain equalisers in stoppage-time.
Rob Holding and Tom Walker were included in the Bolton starting XI as Iain Brunskill named an experienced side that included nine players with first team experience.
Making four changes to the team that drew with Birmingham City on Monday, there was also a place in goal for Harry Campbell as well as a starting berth for Alex Finney, fresh from being an unused substitute for Neil Lennon’s senior side in their last two games.
Not fazed by the occasions, Wanderers started brightly and were rewarded early on as they took the lead inside the opening five minutes through Quade Taylor.
Rising highest to connect with Tom Walker’s set-piece at the far post, the defender powered his effort past Billy O’Brien into the corner to fire the Whites ahead.
Bolton could have doubled their lead soon after as they continued to threaten from corners. However, Hayden White was unable to beat O’Brien at the far post after leaping to meet Walker’s latest kick.
O’Brien was called into action again moments later after Jamie Thomas showed quick feet to wriggle through the Man City defence, only to be denied at the near post by the Man City goalkeeper.
At the other end, goalscorer Taylor was forced to throw his body on the line to deny the hosts an equaliser as he blocked Thierry Ambrose’s powerful strike inside the area.
Man City continued to threatened as they pressed for a leveller, and had appeals for a penalty turned down midway through the half after Aaron Nemane went down under pressure from former Manchester United loanee Andy Kellett.
Kaiyne Woolery was proving a constant threat to the City defence with his pace, and came close to providing the Trotters with a second goal after combining well with Thomas, only for both forwards to be denied with a number of bodies blocking their respective paths to goal.
Thomas went close again just after the half-hour mark as captain Niall Maher’s low cross fell kindly to him inside the area. However, the forward was unfortunate to see his strike deflected off-target.
It was Woolery’s turn to go close moments later as he cut in from the left after running onto Walker’s pin-point through-ball. However, he could only fire into the side-netting from the edge of the area after beating his man.
City missed their best opportunity of the half shortly before the break as David Faupala headed wide from close-range after stretching to connect with Nemane’s cross.
There was still time before the break for Thomas break through the hosts’ back-line once more, nutmegging a defender before going down inside the area when under-pressure.
However, referee Mark Astley was not convinced by his cries for a penalty as Wanderers went in at the interval a goal to the good.
Satisfied with their lead, and boasting a number of natural defenders on the pitch, the Whites were confident in sitting back and absorbing City pressure to defend their advantage following the restart.
Nullifying the Man City attacking threat for the majority, Taylor was in the right place at the right time to clear with his head when under-pressure at the near post on the hour-mark, with Harry Campbell more than a match for Brahim Diaz’s rebound.
George Newell was introduced to the action soon after and almost made an immediate impact following another Walker corner. However, his near post header was palmed away by O’Brien.
Walker and White went close to doubling the Trotters’ lead late on, with the former seeing his 25-yard free-kick deflected behind before O’Brien kept out the latter’s header from the resulting corner.
There was still time for one final Manchester City in the chance in the dying embers of the match as the hosts threw bodies forward in a desperate search for a late equaliser.
However, Campbell stood tall to twice deny City what looked like a certain goal from close-range as Wanderers held on to win the Manchester FA Senior Cup.