Report: Atherton Collieries 2-2 Bolton XI

A Bolton Wanderers XI played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Atherton Collieries at the Kensite Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Whites started brightly, coming close with a free-kick by trialist Nabil which Connor Hall narrowly missed connecting with.

The striker came close to breaking the deadlock with 13 minutes gone meanwhile when finding himself with just the goalkeeper to beat, but Adam Reid was equal to his effort to keep the scores goalless.

It was very much one-way traffic from the outset, with Colls forced onto the backfoot early doors.

Clear cut chances were few and far between however, and although Bolton were looking the more likely, Reid was called upon to deal with relatively simple situations.

The home side awoke on the half hour mark meanwhile, with Ben Amos having to be on his guard to keep Ben Hardcastle’s shot out at close range.

Just minutes later however, the deadlock was broken and it was Colls who had the opener, with Jordan Cover volleying home at the near post to the delight of the home faithful.

Buoyed by their goal, Atherton proceeded to throw men forward in a bid to extend their advantage as the first half drew to its conclusion, with Hardcastle somehow failing to hit the target from 18 yards with just Amos to beat.

Come the break however, it was just the one goal lead that they held.

At the start of the second half, Wanderers made five changes – including Jake Turner coming in between the sticks for the Whites.

The home side weren’t for resting on their laurels and it was clear to see, with them putting Bolton under pressure from the off.

Nabil meanwhile saw a thunderous drive ripple the side netting for David Lee’s youngsters.

With the second half ten minutes old however, the Trotters were level and in style as Cole Lonsdale unleashed an effort from all of 30 yards which gave the Colls goalkeeper absolutely no chance whatsoever.

With the scores all square once again, Bolton set about looking to complete the turnaround and appeared set to do just that when the ball fell kindly for Hall six yards out, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and the ball sailed over the crossbar.

They didn’t have to wait long however to take the lead, with Ryan White turning the ball home from close range with 16 minutes remaining.

That advantage lasted just two minutes though, with Johnny Gorman forcing the ball home from a yard out after a melee in the Bolton six-yard box.

With the game entering its final stages, it was clear to see that despite the "friendly" tag, neither side was happy to settle for a share of the spoils.

Despite the best efforts of both however, it was honours even at the final whistle.

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