Report: Bolton Wanderers vs. Coventry City

Wanderers began their first home Sky Bet League One game of the season with a memorable 0-0 draw against Coventry City at the University of Bolton Stadium.

With an average age of just 18 years and 10 months, a very young Trotters side performed empathically to halt the Coventry charge throughout the 90 minutes and earned a point in front of a vociferous Bolton crowd.

First Half

Wanderers began brightly, with a short free kick by James Weir finding Dennis Politic, who hit a dipping effort from distance that narrowly missed the target.

Coventry responded with a chance of their own a quarter of an hour in, with a Brandon Mason low cross dealt with comfortably with Matthew Alexander.

Mason popped up again minutes later, with a low, stinging shot from the edge of the area that bypassed Alexander’s far post.

Coventry begun to grow into the clash, with a Zain Westbrooke cross across the danger zone inches away from an onrushing Coventry attacker’s header.

The Blue Boys had the ball in the back of the net through Wesley Jobello, but the midfielder ran offside and the referee chalked it off.

Wanderers were a fingertip away mere moments later, with a Ronan Darcy cross finding Callum King-Harmes with a yard of space 12 yards out before hit shot was expertly saved by Marosi.

Jordan Shipley went close for Mark Robins’ men shortly after the half hour point, with a shot from the edge of the 18-yard-box firmly pushed away from Alexander.

The visitors went close three minutes from time, with a Liam Kelly effort closed down well originally by Joe White before a Matthew Alexander point-blank save to deny the Coventry skipper.

Second Half

Jordy Hiwula nearly broke the deadlock four minutes after the restart, but Yoan Zouma effortlessly came through and blocked the forward’s attempt on goal.

Following that, a flash effort from Jobello headed wide of Alexander’s goal, with his room cramped by an energetic Wanderers defence.

The Blue Boys had the ball in the back of the net once again, as a cross into the box by Hiwula deflects off Amadou Bakayoko and into goal, only for it to ruled out for offside.

Kyle McFadzean was up in arms mere moments afterwards, as he complained of a foul in the area but referee James Adcock waved away the protests.

Just past the hour mark and Wanderers were on the counter attack, with Dennis Politic nearly catching the goalkeeper off guard with a shot from the halfway line missing the target.

With 20 minutes to spare, substitute Maxime Biamou hit a free kick dangerously at goal, but 17-year-old Alexander clutched the ball to his chest.

Chances were few and far between for both sides in this second period, with a Jordan Shipley cross into the area with 15 minutes to spare not testing the Wanderers ever resilient defence.

On 77 minutes, another Shipley free-kick was close to opening the score in this game but went far wide.

Wanderers were a foot away from scoring, as 16-year-old Finlay Lockett fired a low cross along the six-yard box, with Eddie Brown inches away from tapping it into the Coventry goal.

As legs grew ever more tiredsome, Jobello continued to create danger down the right flank. His effort from an acute was magnificiently saved by Alexander.

Yet again, Alexander continued to have a blinder as he dealt with a header from Jobello and effort from Matt Godden, as he pounced on both tries and breaking the scoreline.

Late into added time and Coventry had the ball in back of the net for a third time through Maxime Biamou, but yet again it was ruled out for offside.

Moments later, the final whistle blew and the youngest ever Wanderers squad to lineup in a professional game wrote themselves into the history books in style.

Full Time

Wanderers XI: Alexander, Weir, Brockbank (C), Politic, Edwards, Darcy, Zouma, Brown, Graham, King-Harmes (Hurford-Lockett 67), White.

Unused substitutes: Hutchinson, Boon, Senior, Brown-Sterling, Richards, Riley.

Attendance: 8,901 (1,915 visitors)

Read Time: 4 mins