Young Whites forced to settle for a share of the spoils despite dominant display at Macron Stadium
Bolton Wanderers were left cursing an opposition goalkeeper for the second week running as they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils at home to Hull City.
Putting in a dominant display at Macron Stadium, the young Whites created numerous opportunities against an experienced visiting side, but were unable to find a way past shot-stopper Erik Bukran.
George Newell in particular was denied on several occasions, firing straight at Bukran with the goal gaping from his best chance after the goalkeeper had spilled Luke Brattan's powerful effort.
Bukran also produced a stunning save to deny Nat Phillips what looked like a certain goal on what proved to be another frustrating night in front of goal for Bolton.
Manchester City loanee Luke Brattan partnered Medo Kamara in the heart of midfield while Nat Phillips continued alongside Rob Holding in defence.
Ross Fitzsimons started in goal, while George Newell returned in attack with Jamie Thomas still away on international duty.
On a cold night at Macron Stadium, Wanderers started brightly and were unfortunate not to take an early lead as Medo Kamara played in George Newell.
Spotting Erik Bukran off his line, the forward looked to lob the goalkeeper when under pressure on the edge of the area, however his strike drifted narrowly off-target.
Newell went close again moments later, connecting with Jordan Lussey’s low cross at the near post only to see his strike fly the wrong side of the post.
Strike-partner Kaiyne Woolery was the next to go close for the Whites, albeit more by luck than judgement, as he used a burst of pace to beat his marker down the right-hand side.
Proceeding to loft a cross into the box, the forward caught Bukran off-guard as his lobbed ball floated towards goal, only to cannon back off crossbar.
Bolton continued to threaten during the game’s opening quarter and had only Bukran to curse for not taking the lead as the keeper got down to low to keep out Luke Brattan’s thunderous pile-driver from distance.
The keeper was on hand to deny the Trotters yet again midway through the half as Jon Ceberio played in Newell with a superb through-ball, sprinting off his line prevent the danger.
At the other end, Greg Luer twice went close for Hull, first having a low strike deflected narrowly wide before later firing harmlessly wide having broken free into the area with only Ross Fitzsimons to beat.
But they were to be rare shots on goal for the visitors as Wanderers ended the half on top.
The Whites could even have gone in at the break ahead, only for an unmarked Woolery to head wide following a well-worked short corner from what was the last opening of the half.
With Bolton picking up where they left off, Newell continued to be a thorn in the Hull defence but was unable to find a way past Bukran.
Cutting in from the left soon after the restart, the forward looked to beat the visitors’ keeper with a drilled effort across goal, only for Bukran to get down low to palm his strike away.
Newell should have fired the Trotters ahead on the hour-mark as Bukran fumbled a powerful Brattan effort straight at the forward’s feet, only for the goalkeeper to recover well to keep out his tame rebound.
At the other end, Robert Snodgrass came within inches of firing Hull ahead against the run of play, turning well on the edge of the Wanderers box before rifling a shot narrowly wide across goal.
With the majority of the play continuing to take place in the visitors’ half, Nat Phillips was denied what looked like a certain goal midway through the half as Bukran pulled off a stunning fingertip save to keep out the defender’s powerful, close-range header.
Alex Samizadeh was introduced inside the final ten minutes as the Whites continued to press forward in search of a late winner.
However, Bolton continued to be left frustrated in front of goal as the match ultimately ended in stalemate.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Lussey, Maher, Phillips, Holding, Brattan, Cvetko (Perry 87), Medo, Woolery, Ceberio, Newell (Samizadeh 82).
Unused substitutes: Campbell, Campbell-Young, Spooner.
Development Squad match report sponsors: Bristol Street Motors