Kaiyne Woolery and Stephen Dobbie both score as Wanderers win at Macron Stadium
Bolton Wanderers came from behind to win in an entertaining end-to-end encounter against Nottingham Forest on Monday night.
Facing off at Macron Stadium, Stephen Dobbie and Kaiyne Woolery both had chances for the Whites before Deimantas Petravicius powered Forest ahead.
However, Bolton turned the game on its head courtesy of the same duo, Woolery levelling the scores with a powerful strike before turning provider to set up Dobbie just before the break.
Finishing the game with ten men after losing Channing Campbell-Young to injury, the Trotters had Ross Fitzsimons to thank for maintaining their lead as the Wanderers keeper denied the visitors on numerous occasions.
And while they were given a late scare when Ben Bereton hit the crossbar from distance, the Whites held on to clinch a hard-fought three points.
Wanderers named a strong side for the visit of Nottingham Forest to Macron Stadium, with senior players Stephen Dobbie, Wellington Silva, Tom Walker, Lawrie Wilson and Kaiyne Woolery all named in the young Whites' starting XI.
Elsewhere Jordan Lussey returned from injury while Ross Fitzsimons continued in goal, and there were places on the substitutes' bench for Under-18s players Alex Samizadeh and Jake Turner.
In a fast-paced first half filled with chances at both ends, the first shot on goal of the night fell to the visitors as Jorge Grant controlled Lawrie Wilson's headed clearance on his chest before volleying over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Wanderers did not have to wait long to create their first opening on goal as Stephen Dobbie went close for the young Whites moments later, dragging his strike from range narrowly wide after combining well with both Tom Walker and Kaiyne Woolery.
Woolery was next to try his luck for Bolton soon after after stealing possession in midfield, quickly bursting away from the Forest defence on his way into the area, only to drill his strike wide across goal.
Dobbie and Woolery remained constant thorns in the Forest back-line throughout as the combined once more inside the opening quarter, the former forcing a save from Ross Durrant after unleashing a ferocious strike inside the box after running onto the latter's flicked pass.
Having seen Adam Crookes head over from a corner for Forest, Dobbie went close yet again as he lined up a 30-yard strike, only to see it fly harmlessly over the crossbar.
But despite Dobbie and the Trotters' best efforts at one end, it was to be the visitors who took the lead midway through the half as Deimantas Petravicius finished emphatically into the top corner after running onto a low cross.
Forest could have doubled their lead minutes later as James Thorne rounded Ross Fitzsimons after racing onto a through-ball, but, with his angle narrowly, he was unable to hit the target as he shot into the side-netting.
Some alert defending from Nat Phillips denied the visitors again on the half-hour mark as the young defender stole possession in the box just as Forest looked set to finish into an unguarded net with Fitzsimons caught out of position.
But Wanderers would make Forest rue not extending their lead as they finished the half on top, netting an equaliser from their very next attack courtesy of Woolery's powerful finish.
Coming just weeks after scoring his first senior goal for the club, the forward jinked his way past a defender after finding himself in space inside the box before rifling the ball beyond Durrant's grasp into the bottom corner.
Losing captain Niall Maher to injury did not disrupt the Whites' flow as they continued to threaten, and they were rewarded late in the half as Dobbie got the goal his performance deserved.
Having netted a 90th minute equaliser at Macron Stadium for Neil Lennon's first team back in August, the Scot was in the right place at the right time to coolly stroke home Woolery's cutback following another fine solo-run from the young forward.
And with little time left in the half as the heavens opened over BL6, Dobbie's goal proved to be the difference at the break as Bolton went in a goal to the good.
Picking up where they left off before the interval, the Trotters continued to press forward as they looked to extend their lead.
Wellington Silva curled a strike narrowly wide of goal after cutting inside from the left, while Woolery forced another save from Durrant at the near post after powering into the area.
However, despite not threatening as much as they had in the first half, Forest continued to have their chances to level the scores, with Fitzsimons producing a fine reaction save to keep Kieran Hayes' powerful close-range header.
The Wanderers goalkeeper was called into action once more with fifteen minutes left on the clock, diving low to his right to tip away Ryan Yates' thunderous strike.
Losing Channing Campbell-Young to injury, the Whites were forced to play the final ten minutes with ten men having already used all three substitutions.
But despite their man disadvantage, Bolton were unfortunate not to extend their lead following a swift counter-attack as Woolery burst down the right before forcing a low save from Durrant after showing clever feet to beat his man.
Sensing the possibility of a late equaliser, Forest threw bodies forward during the game's dying embers, and were almost rewarded with a spectacular leveller only to see Ben Bereton's long-range strike cannon back of the crossbar.
And with Fitzsimons continuing to deny the visitors late on, the Trotters held on to clinch a deserved victory at Macron Stadium, ending a three-game losing run in the process.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Wilson, Lussey (Newell 71), Finney, Phillips, Maher (Campbell-Young 39), Walker, Cvetko, Woolery, Dobbie, Wellington (Ceberio 65).
Unused substitutes: Turner, Samizadeh.
Under-21s match report sponsors: Bristol Street Motors