U23s: Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Barnsley

Bolton Wanderers Under-23s strengthened their position at the top of the Professional Development League (North) table after an enthralling 3-1 win against Barnsley at Macron Stadium on a chilly Monday evening.

Jack Earing opened the scoring for the young Whites with a stunning 25-yard half volley shortly before the break, before recent signing Chinedu Obasi poked home for his second goal in two Under-23s outings on the hour-mark.

Amir Berkovits pulled a goal back for the visiting Tykes soon moments later, but substitute Connor Hall sealed victory soon after, heading home after an astonishing 20-pass team move from David Lee's side.

Starting brightly, Bolton dominated proceedings as they controlled possession during the opening third of the match without testing Barnsley goalkeeper Jake Greatorex.

As a result, the first real chance of the night went the way of the visitors with Victor Adeboyejo going closest for the Tykes, Mark Howard getting across well to keep out the forward's well-struck free-kick.

Responding immediately, the Trotters squandered a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring on the half-hour mark as the lively Obasi knocked the ball down to Liam Morris, only for the midfielder to drill over the crossbar from distance.

However, Wanderers did not have to wait much longer to opening the scoring with Earing breaking the deadlock in sensational fashion at the end of the first half.

Bringing the ball under his spell on the edge of the Tykes' box, the midfielder unleashed an unstoppable left-footed half-volley into the top corner to give the Whites a precious advantage going in at the interval.

Both sides exchanged chances following the restart with Stephen Darby getting in a vital block to prevent Berkovits from equalising before Harry Brockbank's low effort from distance flew narrowly wide.

Obasi doubled his side's advantage on the hour-mark after the ball fell kindly for him at the far post, the Nigerian gracefully controlling the ball before thundering past a hapless Greatorex.

Rather than let their heads drop, Barnsley responded less than a minute later as Berkovits pounced on a loose ball to hammer home and put the Tykes back in contention after Bolton failed to clear the lines.

Connor Hall replaced Obasi moments later and wasted no time in netting his 17th goal of the season.

Following an astonishing 20-pass team move that started on the edge of the Trotters' own box, the forward provided the finishing touch to Mark Little's cross as he leapt between two Barnsley defenders to head home a sensational third Wanderers goal.

The young Whites looked to extend their lead further as Brockbank saw his low free-kick kept out by Greatorex as the game neared its dying embers.

But with the damage to Barnsley already done, it mattered not as Bolton saw out the game to return to winning ways and extend their lead at the top of the table to five points. 

Bolton: Howard, Little (Mitchell 68), Darby, Edwards, Brockbank, Morris, Charsley (Battle 46), Earing, Obasi (Hall 63), Walker, Lonsdale

Subs not used: White, Turner

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