Wanderers youngsters slip to defeat at the KC Stadium in their latest U21 Professional Development League 2 encounter
Wanderers’ Under-21s suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of their Hull City counterparts at the KC Stadium on Friday evening.
The home side opened the scoring on the half hour mark, with Jarrod Bowen afforded time and space at the far post with the forward slotting home from a matter of yards out after collecting a lofted pass across goal.
That advantage was doubled with just under 20 minutes to go in the game with Bowen again on the scoresheet, volleying home from a Ben Hinchliffe pass, while the latter turning goalscorer late on to ensure that the Whites left West Yorkshire empty handed.
Alex Samizadeh was included from the off for the Whites’ youngsters having been used as a late substitute in Monday’s defeat to Huddersfield Town while Callum Spooner also came in from the off.
There was also a place for academy youngster Dennis Politic amongst Bolton’s substitutes.
In the Hull side however, former Bolton youth product Erik Bukran started between the sticks for the Tigers.
The hosts started brightly with Wanderers’ youngsters being forced onto the backfoot early on to defend against a number of attempts on goal inside the opening 90 seconds.
It was certainly a feisty start to proceedings at the KC, with tackles flying in left, right and centre as the game fell into a full-blooded encounter.
The first real sight of goal however came in the sixth minute of the game as Hull’s Harvey Rodgers attempted to volley home from 25 yards, only for the centre-half’s effort to narrowly clear the crossbar.
As the game wore on though, Bolton grew into the play ever more so and eventually found themselves enjoying more possession in the final third, with George Newell’s glancing header just wide of the post proving to be their first clear cut chance of the match in the 13th minute.
Samizadeh was also looking lively for the visitors, with the striker causing problems in and amongst the Tigers’ backline, with his trickery almost resulting in the opener on 23 minutes, only for a Hull body to get in the way at the crucial moment.
With 26 minutes on the clock, Newell and Samizadeh almost combined perfectly with the former feeding the later, but the assistant referee’s flag was raised with the 17-year-old in on goal.
On the half hour mark however, the deadline was broken as Daniel Batty’s lofted pass across goal was misjudged by Ross Fitzsimons, with Bowen on hand to turn the ball home at the far post to hand Hull the lead.
It was almost two for the hosts and Bowen soon after as he found himself in ample space inside the area, but Fitzsimons was equal to his shot as he got down well to deny him.
The hosts were growing in confidence, while Wanderers’ youngsters were having to be on their guard to keep them contained as the half time whistle drew near.
Despite them dominating possession for the most part however, Bolton stood firm to ensure that the deficit was just one goal at the break.
There was one change for Wanderers at the break, with Alex Perry replacing Enock Likoy-Elumba in Wanderers’ line-up.
Just minutes after the restart, the hosts looked set to double their advantage as Greg Olley found space on the edge of the box, but Fitzsimons got down well to deny the Hull forward and keep Bolton in the clash.
Up the other end of the field meanwhile, Samizadeh’s quick feet almost had the Whites back level as he shrugged off the challenge of his marker before unleashing from a tight angle, but the youngster saw his effort trickle just wide of the far post.
The Tigers meanwhile came close through Robbie McKenzie, with the defender unable to control the ball as it landed at his feet just yards away from goal as Wanderers were able to clear the ball off the goal line.
With the game quickly falling into an end-to-end encounter, Bolton came close yet again as Jon Ceberio found himself unmarked in the area, but he was unable to make any real contact with the ball and keeper Rory Watson collected his tame shot easily.
With a quarter of the game remaining, Iain Brunskill made his second change of the match with young Dennis Politic coming into the mix in place of Ceberio.
Wanderers were building pressure well as the game entered its final 20 minutes, with the home side forced to defend in their numbers.
On the counter attack however, City were able to hit Bolton with a sucker punch as Ben Hinchliffe found Bowen just inside the box, with the forward volleying home to double his tally and Hull’s advantage.
Chris Cvetko tried his luck from distance with a well-taken strike just minutes later, only to see Watson equal to it, while Newell was unable to turn home from close range following a speedy Callum Spooner run down the right flank.
Once again though, Wanderers were undone on the break as Hinchliffe turned goalscorer with 12 minutes to go, stealing possession at the byline and firing home from close range with Fitzsimons left open.
A harsh scoreline on the Whites, they came close to reducing the deficit inside the closing stages of the encounter with Maher and Cvetko testing the Hull keeper.
Cvetko again attempted to thwart the Tigers’ keeper inside the dying embers of the game as he unleashed an effort on the volley from a matter of yards out, but it was ultimately in vain as the home side ran out comfortable winners on the night.
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Spooner, Garratt, Finney, Maher, Phillips, Ceberio (Politic 68), Cvetko, Likoy-Elumba (Perry, 46), Newell, Samizadeh
Unused subs: Campbell, Palmer, Griffiths
Under-21s sponsor: Bristol Street Motors