U21s: Stoke City 1-1 Bolton

Rob Holding's late strike earns the young Whites a share of the spoils


Rob Holding scored a late equaliser from distance as Bolton Wanderers fought out a 1-1 draw away with Stoke City on Friday night.

Taking place at Macclesfield Town’s Moss Rose, the Whites fell behind after Joel Taylor beat Adam Bogdan from range with a heavily-deflected strike.

Chris Lester hit the bar for Bolton, while Liam Edwards had an effort chalked off for Stoke for offside, before Holding fired home from the edge of the area to earn his side a share of the points.


Adam Bogdan made his return from injury as he started in goal for the young Whites against Stoke City.

Aaron Birch partnered captain Oscar Threlkeld in centre-midfield, while Channing Campell-Young and Chris Lester were both handed starts as Iain Brunskill made three chances to the Bolton side that faced Aston Villa on Monday.


Despite seeing a lot of the ball in a half of few chances, Wanderers fell behind to an early strike from Joel Taylor.

Finding himself in space outside the area, the midfielder pulled the trigger only to see a massive deflection on his strike wrong-foot Adam Bogdan, who had already denied Joel Taylor once as well as Tomi Adeloye, as it sailed into the bottom right-hand corner.

The Whites pressed for an equaliser but struggled to test Stoke goalkeeper Dan Gyollai with Quade Taylor failing to connect properly with a header from a corner, while Kaiyne Woolery fired harmlessly over the bar from range.

Quade Taylor was involved at the other end to deny Stoke and namesake Joel a second goal just before the 40th-minute mark, getting an important block on the midfielder’s powerful shot to divert it away from goal.

There was still time for Quade Taylor to again go close for Bolton at the other end as he rose highest to connect with Aaron Birch’s free-kick.

However, his header on goal drifted just wide of the far post as the Trotters went in at the break a goal behind.


Wanderers started the second half brightly and had only Gyollai to curse for not finding an equaliser with five minutes of the restart as Rob Holding powered down the left.

Cutting in from the flank, the full-back forced a fine save from the Stoke keeper as the Potters held onto their lead.

At the other end, Nathan Ricketts should have extended Stoke’s lead after breaking free into the area. However, he was unable to keep his strike down as he powered an effort harmlessly over the bar.

Chris Lester was agonisingly close to netting an equaliser for the Whites just short of the hour-mark after he cut in from the left. 

Trying his luck from the edge of the box, the winger was unfortunate to see his effort tipped onto the bar by an alert Gyollai before bouncing clear.

Following Ryan Seller’s introduction midway through the half, Hayden White moved upfront as Bolton looked for more of a presence in attack.

However, they nearly found themselves two goals behind as Liam Edwards headed home Eddy Lecygne’s flick on from Joel Taylor’s free-kick, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Awakened by the near-miss, the Trotters wasted no time in netting an equaliser as Rob Holding levelled the scores for Wanderers soon after with their very next attack - the defender powering home from the edge of the area.

And despite a series of corners near the end, the Whites were unable to find a late equaliser as they returned home having secured a share of the spoils.



Bolton: Bogdan, White (Ball 89), Holding, Taylor, Finney, Birch, Lester (Sellers 70), Threlkeld, Woolery, Iliev, Campbell-Young.

Unused subs: Campbell, Ball, Boben.

Stoke City: Gyollai, Pringle, Barber, Lecygne, Edwards, Watkins, Parry, Ward, Ricketts (Coban 84), Adeloye, Taylor.

Unused subs: Roberts, Kurasik, Jarvis, Banks.

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