Jay Spearing on the scoresheet for the Trotters as they fall to a narrow defeat against top flight opposition
Wanderers suffered a late defeat at the hands of Premier League outfit Burnley at Macron Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The visitors drew first blood with the game 15 minutes old as Andre Gray won a penalty and dispatched the resulting spot-kick past Ben Amos in the Bolton goal.
Phil Parkinson’s side were level shortly after the restart however, with Jay Spearing firing home from the edge of the box, but the Clarets had the last word as substitute Josh Ginnelly fired home from close range on the stroke of full time to snatch the victory.
Wanderers’ starting XI saw Jay Spearing donning the captain’s armband in place of Darren Pratley who took his place on the substitutes’ bench while trialists Neal Eardley and David Wheater were also involved from the off.
A number of youngsters meanwhile were included in the Whites’ list of subs, with Alex Perry, Callum Spooner, Alex Honeyball and Jack Earing all included.
With proceedings getting underway at Macron Stadium, it was Bolton’s Premier League opponents who started the stronger with a Michael Kightly free-kick the best of a handful of efforts by the Clarets inside the opening stages.
Lawrie Wilson meanwhile came within inches of putting the Whites in front after Gary Madine lofted a dangerous ball across the face of goal which eluded Tom Heaton, but the full-back couldn’t react quickly enough and missed his opportunity to poke into an open net.
With 15 minutes on the clock however, Burnley were handed the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot after Wheater upended Gray in the area with the frontman duly dispatching the resulting effort from 12 yards.
Halfway through the first period, Wanderers were forced to make an early change with trialist Danny Collins coming into the fray in place of Dorian Dervite who took a knock.
Five minutes later, the Whites were almost back on level terms as Spearing swung a free-kick into the box from the corner of the area, only for a deflection to ensure that it bounced off the bar rather than into the net.
With ten minutes of the half remaining, a scramble in the Burnley box saw Madine come close, only to see his shot be blocked at the pivotal moment while Gray shrugged off the challenge of Wheater before seeing his effort saved by the leg of Ben Amos.
The rest of the first half meanwhile passed without much action of note as the visitors went into the break a goal to the good.
With Mark Howard replacing Amos between the sticks for the second half, Bolton started brightly and were rewarded within three minutes as Spearing collected Trotter’s dragback on the edge of the box, with the midfielder firing home from distance via the inside of the post.
Visibly buoyed by their equaliser, the Trotters had Burnley on the ropes soon after with a number of attacks that forced Heaton and his back line to be on their guard.
Up the other end meanwhile, substitute George Boyd attempted to thwart the Bolton defence on the hour mark and unleashed following a mazy run, but Howard was equal to it and comfortably smothered the ball.
Chris Long also enjoyed a sight of goal shortly after, only to see Wanderers’ summer signing pounce on his shot from the edge of the 18 yard box.
Trotter, a key man for Wanderers all night, proceeded to find Max Clayton in the box with 18 minutes of the game remaining with the forward in a promising position. Despite his best efforts however, the 21-year-old’s header was straight at Paul Robinson.
As the clock ran down to full time however, a flurry of substitutions took control of the clash with neither team able to get any real flow going with the interruptions.
For Wanderers meanwhile, a handful of youngsters got their shot with Alex Perry and George Newell entering the fray.
With six minutes to go, Long looked to have snatched victory for the Clarets with a thunderous shot from ten yards, but the palm of Howard was enough to ensure that the scores remained level.
As the game entered its final moments, Clayton tried his luck from a tight angle, only to see Robinson get down well at his near post.
The visitors were to have the last word however, with Ginnelly somehow squeezing the ball home from close range after shrugging off the challenge of Alex Finney on the stroke of full time to earn victory for Sean Dyche’s men.
Bolton: Amos, Moxey (Finney 70’), Dervite (Collins 21’), Vela (Perry 79’), Taylor (Walker 70’), Spearing (Pratley 59’), Madine (Woolery 50’), Trotter (Newell 79’), Eardley (Clayton 67’), Wilson, Wheater (Beevers 67’)
Subs not used: Spooner, Honeyball, Earing