Youngsters beaten at the semi-final stage by their counterparts from Boundary Park
Wanderers’ youngsters were denied a place in the final of the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup after coming out on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller against Oldham Athletic at Lostock on Wednesday lunchtime.
Getting proceedings underway in blustery conditions, the Whites started brightly and were almost rewarded inside six minutes when Ryan White tried his luck from distance, only to see his effort cannon off the crossbar with the Latics' goalkeeper a beaten man.
Daniel McKenna proved a thorn in Oldham’s side inside the opening stages as Bolton ruled proceedings, but the visitors took the lead against the run of play with ten minutes on the clock as Rio Murray tapped home Brendy Glackin’s cross from close range.
An effort which opened the game up somewhat, Jake Hargreaves almost doubled the Boundary Park youngsters’ advantage soon after but saw his effort inside the penalty area blocked with a goal seemingly imminent.
Up the other end of the field meanwhile, Max Allen fired a free-kick just a matter of inches over the crossbar with ten minutes of the half remaining as David Lee’s youngsters looked for a route back into the clash.
And that came on the stroke of half time, with Matthew Fearnley glancing home from a corner-kick to ensure that the scores were level at the break.
Following the restart, both sides rallied as they looked to take the lead with Murray unable to turn home from close range on the hour mark while Glackin fired over from a matter of yards out after winning possession on the byline shortly after.
Bolton meanwhile saw White unable to force home a Luke Griffiths free-kick with 23 minutes of the game remaining.
With the lottery of penalties looming large and the game entering its final quarter, Oldham proceeded to hit the Trotters with three quick-fire goals inside seven minutes.
Firstly, Murray capitalised on the loss of the ball by Cole Lonsdale deep in Bolton territory before rounding Will Jaaskelainen and slotting home while Glackin, creator of the Latics’ first effort, turned goalscorer just four minutes later as he thundered an effort past the Bolton keeper from an angle.
Not satisfied, Glackin doubled his tally with ten minutes remaining, being given the simple task of tapping home from a yard out after a mix-up at the back.
There was still time for late drama in the cup clash however, with Harry Brockbank forcing the ball home from a corner-kick with two minutes of the 90 to go while on the stroke of full-time, Luca Navarro ensured a nervy finish as he nodded home amidst confusion in the Oldham box.
Despite the Whites' efforts though, the referee blew for full time shortly after and in turn, confirmed the Latics’ place in the final of the competition where they will face Blackpool.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Grant, Lonsdale, Grivosti, Brockbank, Allen, Griffiths, White, Fearnley, Navarro, McKenna (Earing 46)
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