Report: Bolton Wanderers U23s 3-1 Bristol City U23s

First-half goals from Luca Navarro, Olawale Tanimowo and Dennis Politic proved to be enough as Wanderers under 23s got their Professional Development League campaign off to flying start at the County Ground.

The hosts started off brightly and could have gone two goals up inside the first five minutes when trialist Victor Fundi headed narrowly wide before forcing opposing ‘keeper Victor Fundi into a fine stop at the near post.

Fellow trialist Taniwomo was put through on goal only for Sesay to make a brave save at the striker’s feet.

Wanderers sensed danger and pressed forward at every opportunity and Navarro was next to have a shot on goal only to see his effort go straight into the arms of Sesay after some clever build up play involving Jack Earing and Fundi.

City rarely featured as an attacking unit but when they did they found Yoan Zouma in impeccable form. The big central defender managed to get his head on to several cross to clear away the danger.

Earing then had a shot from distance which flew over the bar.

Sesay was pressed into action again, this time block Muscatt’s fierce drive after the full back had been put through by Navarro’s sublime flick.

The inevitable goal came after 20 minutes when Wanderers were awarded a penalty after Tanimowo was felled in the box.

Navarro converted from the spot after sending the previously invincible Sesay the wrong way.

The goal only served to whet Wanderers’ appetite and they continued to advance forward with every opportunity.

Defender Harry Brockbank got onto the end of Navarro’s corner but was unable to steer his header on target.

Politic showed amazing skill to get into the box and weave his way past several defenders, but his well-hit shot was matched by Sesay’s save at full stretch.

The visiting ‘keeper then made a smart double save to thwart Tanimowo but the trialist atoned for these misses when his close range effort poked past Sesay to double his side’s lead.

Five minutes before the interval and Wanderers got a deserved third thanks to Politic whose silky skills saw him canter into the box unchallenged before whipping the ball into the corner beyond Sesay’s despairing dive.

The visitors made a triple substitution during the interval which saw them get into the game.

Wanderers keeper Jake Turner made his first save of the game just after the hour mark when he gathered Bradley Webb’s low drive.

Ten minutes later and Turner was on hand to keep out Jake Andrews’ shot from distance.

At the other end Poltic was denied from range thanks to Sesay’s acrobatic save.

Wanderers themselves made a triple change with ten minutes to go when Luca Connell, Ronan Darcy and Shakeel Jones-Griffiths came on for Politic, Navarro and Tanimowo. 

The visitors got a consolation with just two minutes remaining when Ricardo Rees prodded home from close range.

Bolton Wanderers: Turner, Brockbank, Muscatt, Edwards, Zouma, Wood, Politic (Connell 79), Earing, Fundi, Tanimowo (Darcy 79) , Navarro (Jones-Griffiths)

Subs Not Used: Hartshorne, Jones

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