Report: Bolton Wanderers U23s 3-2 Sheffield United U23s

A brace from Connor Hall, including a late penalty, was enough to see Bolton Wanderers defeat Sheffield United at the County Ground.

Hall opened the scoring on 10 minutes from the spot after Jeff King was brought down in the box, before Adam Mitchell extended the lead with a well-timed header from a Craig Noone free kick.

Ched Evans pulled one back for Sheffield United in the second half, before Charlie Smith completed the comeback with a well-timed half volley from the edge of the box.

But it was Wanderers who took all three points as Hall dispatched another penalty with just one minute of normal time remaining.

The home side were boosted at the start of the game by the presence of first team players Stephen Darby, Jem Karacan and Craig Noone, as both teams looked to play a direct style early on.

Bolton quickly took control of proceedings as they boasted more control of the ball with their first chance coming afer four minutes.

King showing good strength to shield the ball from his marker before playing it to Hall, whose shouts for a penalty were turned down. Noone's rebound was looping in but was well blocked by the Sheffield United defence.

David Lee's side did get a penalty five minutes later, King receiving the ball to feet before being hauled down inside the box, with Hall on hand to convert the spot kick away from Jake Eastwood's left hand into the bottom corner.

Sheffield United struggled to impose themselves but had one opening on 13 minutes, Jake Wright working the ball well to Jordan Hallam, who went down before he could shoot but the referee ignored the away side's appeals for a foul.

Bolton were beginning to dictate play and they had another opportunity on 22 minutes, the influential Noone putting in a low cross for Hall to meet, but his attempted scissor kick went wide.

Hall managed to break away down the right hand side on 32 minutes but was fouled by Rhys Norrington-Davies.

The resulting free kick, whipped in by Noone, found Mitchell unmarked in the box and he headed home to the 'keeper's right to extend Bolton's advantage.

There was almost an exact replica of that goal just five minutes later, Noone's curling free kick finding the head of Mitchell but this time his effort was wide of the post.

Sheffield United began to push forward more towards the end of the half, Hallam with a superb run to beat several Bolton defenders - he was tackled and Harvey Gilmour's effort from the edge of the box was well caught by Jake Turner.

Bolton, however, were still having the best of the chances, King the man to find himself through on goal at the end of the half. His shot was parried by Eastwood, with Hall unable to reach the rebound.


Sheffield United took control of the early stages of the second half, their first opportunity of the half coming on 50 minutes, Hallam's ball finding Wright whose bicycle kick went narrowly over the bar.

Hallam had an opportunity of his own on 56 minutes, his effort crashing off the bar.

The Blades began to further apply pressure and that pressure told on 65 minutes, a throw in from the right eventually finding substitute Ched Evans who fired home to halve the deficit.

They almost levelled it immediately after the kick off, a well timed through ball finding Tyler Smith, whose attempted cut inside following a sprint was blocked by a Bolton defender.

The away side did manage to level proceedings shortly after, Charlie Smith's superb effort finding the bottom right corner from the edge of the box, with Turner unable to get a hand to it.

Evans then had a chance at the back post to win it but he was well closed down by Turner and couldn't convert the header.

There was always likely to be a Bolton fightback however, and it arrived late on, King able to round the keeper before he was brought down by Kane Deidrick-Roberts, the Sheffield United number two conceding a penalty and seeing red as a result.

Hall converted his second spot-kick of the game low to the keeper's left to restore Bolton's lead, which they maintained throughout the final stages.

The victory for Bolton extends David Lee's side's unbeaten run to nine games, their latest success being their eighth win out of those matches.

Bolton Wanderers: Turner, Darby, Brockbank, Edwards, Mitchell, Karacan, Noone (White, 76), Earing, Hall, King, Lonsdale

Subs not used: Jones-Griffiths, Aspinall, Fearnley, Morris

Sheffield United: Eastwood, Deidrick-Roberts, Norrington-Davies, Scott, Hawkes, Williams, Gilmour, Mallon, Wright (Evans, 65), Haslam, Smith

Subs not used: Warhurst, Potts, Williams

Read Time: 4 mins