Alex Samizadeh scored on his first Under-21s start as Bolton Wanderers suffered their first league defeat of the season in what was a game of two halves against Ipswich Town on Monday night.
Having scored on his debut for the young Whites against Cardiff City earlier in the month, the forward fired Bolton ahead on the half-hour mark at Portman Road, with a powerful strike inside the box on the turn.
However, Sam Ford equalised for the Tractor Boys on the stroke of half-time from the edge of the area, before Shane McLoughlin scored what proved to be the winner soon after the restart.
Chris Cvetko thought he’d equalised late on only to be denied a last-gasp Joseph Robinson clearance off the line as the Trotters fell to a disappointing defeat.
Alex Samizadeh made his first start for the Under-21s as Wanderers made eight changes to the side that beat Millwall in their previous outing.
Elsewhere, Channing Campbell-Young captained the side, as one of three players to retain their places alongside Jordan Lussey and Jamie Thomas, while Under-18s midfielder Luke Griffiths was handed a starting berth.
With the rain pouring down at Portman Road, both sides started slowed as they looked to come to terms with the conditions.
However, once the weather had settled, Wanderers emerged as the side in control and were unfortunate not to take an early lead after creating the first opening of the match through Jamie Thomas.
The Wales youth international side-stepped a challenge inside the area before trying his luck with a low strike which seemed destined to nestle in the bottom right-hand corner, only for a late block from Myles Kenlock to divert his effort narrowly wide.
With the majority of the action taking place in the Ipswich half, the hosts were limited to strikes from long-range when they did enter forward into the Whites half, however, Harry Campbell was more than match with Sam Ford firing straight at him on more than one occasion.
Only a stunning fingertip save from Michael Crowe prevented Alex Samizadeh from marking his first Under-21s start with a goal, as he turned well on the edge of the area before rifling a shot at goal, while Jordan Lussey failed to hit the target from range soon after.
However, the Iranian did not have to wait long to get his name on the scoresheet as he fired Bolton ahead just after the half-hour mark.
Controlling Tyler Garratt’s low cross inside the box, the forward turned well before thundering past Crowe into the top corner for his second goal from just three Under-21s appearances.
But despite being the better side, the Trotters were pegged back just before the interval as Sam Ford beat Harry Campbell with a low strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, ensuring Wanderers went in at the break with the scores level.
The hosts started brightly following the restart and took the lead early on with their first attack of the half.
After saving Ford’s powerful strike from an acute angle, Campbell could do nothing to keep out Shane McLoughlin’s rebound as the midfield tapped home into the unguarded net.
Campbell denied Ipswich a third soon after, standing his ground well to keep out Cemal Ramadan’s fierce strike from close-range.
At the other end, Samizadeh was unlucky not net his second of the game and draw the Whites level after running onto Jon Ceberio’s lay-off.
However, Crowe was able to palm away the forward’s fizzing strike from the edge of the area.
Campbell was called into action again soon after, producing a fine save from close-range to deny McLoughlin his second goal from a stinging half-volley.
Continuing to enjoy the better of the second half, Adam McDonnell next went close for the Tractor Boys, only for his fierce long-range effort to fly narrowly over Campbell’s crossbar.
Chris Cvetko came agonisingly close to equalising late on after beating Crowe with a powerful strike inside the area, only for Josesph Robinson to hack his strike off the line at the last moment.
But that was to be the closest Bolton came to claiming a share of the spoils as Ipswich held on to inflict a first league defeat on the Trotters this season.