Report: Atherton Collieries v Bolton Wanderers XI

A youthful Bolton Wanderers XI came from behind to share the spoils with non-league neighbours Atherton Collieries at the Kensite Stadium.

The hosts took the lead through Luke Giverin in the first half before Dan Wright netted a late leveller.

Wanderers fielded a team comprising of players from their Under-23s and Under-18s ranks plus a handful of trialists as they got their pre-season campaign underway.

Played in sweltering conditions chances were few and far between during the opening stages as both teams endeavoured to control the midfield.

Danny Lambert ought to have done better for the hosts but blasted over James Aspinall’s bar from close range after six minutes.

The hosts took the lead just after 20 minutes when Luke Giverin latched onto a pass from Ben Conway to divert past Aspinall.

Wanderers had the chance to draw level shortly afterwards when they were awarded a free kick after Joe Muscatt was upended. However, Stephen Duke-McKenna’s free-kick came to nothing as it was nodded away by the Colls defence.

Trailist Liam Ansalam had the visitors’ first strike on target but his effort was easily gathered by Greg Hartley in the Atherton nets.

As the half was reaching the end, Danny Lambert almost doubled his side’s lead but could only head over the bar.

While at the other end, Duke-McKenna blasted into the side netting as Wanderers tried to restore parity.

A handful of substitutions were made by both teams during the break with Callum Preston, Jordan Boon and Eddie Brown replacing Joe Muscatt, Will Hartshorne and Duke-McKenna.

Colls made nine changes with only captain Lafferty and ‘keeper Hartley retaining their places.

The hosts started the brighter and Wanderers had Harry Brockbank to thank for a headed clearance after a decent cross came in from the right hand side.

Aspinall pulled off the save of the match just after the hour mark when he acrobatically kept out a rasping volley from Tom Bentham.

Wanderers made another set of changes with Kwame Osigwe, Morgan Bruce-de-Rouche and Sonny Graham coming into the fray.

The subs Bruce-de-Rouche was soon into the action and had to clear away Jordan Cover’s cross-cum-shot from his own six-yard box.

Wanderers thought they had an equaliser with less than ten minutes to go when Brown’s header, which came into his path after Collings’ shot cannoned off the post, was flagged for offside. 

But with just four minutes remaining the visitors pulled level through Wright who poked home from close range.

Wanderers substitute ‘keeper Konrad made a fantastic save at close range right at the death to ensure the game finished on level terms.

Wanderers' starting XI: Aspinall, Brockbank, Hartshorne, Jones-Griffiths, Muscatt, Wright, Collings, Gardner-Smith, Jaloszynski, McKenna, Arnsalam

Subs (All used): Boon, Brown, Rouge, Preston, Osigwe, Graham, Konrad

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