Bolton Wanderers Under 23’s were comfortably beaten 1-5 by Leeds United in the Professional Development League on Monday night, a result which see’s The Whites stay on four points at the foot of the table.
David Lee’s side are without a win since the end of October and came up against a Leeds side on a five-game winning streak in the league, losing just three times all season.
Leeds fielded a side boasting first-team regulars Jack Clarke, Eddie Nketiah and Ezgjan Alioski, all of which got themselves on the scoresheet, to keep them fourth in the league.
Leeds started the more brightly of the two teams, dominating the possession in the early stages and having the first chance of the game, Alfie McCalmont’s long-range effort forcing a save from Matthew Alexander.
Bolton’s first chance of the game came on the quarter of an hour mark from Connor Hall, who won possession from a poor clearance from the visitors, breaking away from the halfway line but skewing his shot wide under Leeds pressure.
However, Leeds didn’t take long to respond and just three minutes later had their opener, Clarke’s deflected cross finding Alioski, who tapped in from close range.
Leeds were in their rhythm now, this time Alioski turning provider for Clarke, the Macedonian fizzed a low cross across the 18-yard box to Clarke, who fired a left-footed strike past Alexander to make it 0-2.
The Whites came close to getting a goal back shortly after, Markus Assarsson’s cross finding the head of Connor Hall in the box, who’s flicked effort failed to hit the target.
It was 0-3 and all three points all but sealed just before half-time, with Leeds being awarded a penalty for Jordan Boon’s late challenge on Nketiah, who slotted home from the spot to give Bolton a mountain to climb going into the break.
Bolton came out firing in the second half, winning an early corner for their efforts, which was flicked into the back of the net by Adam Senior from close range to make it 1-3, but proved to be little more than a consolation.
Leeds we’re back amongst the goals on the hour mark, Clarke winning possession in his own half before driving at the Bolton defence and playing a through ball to Robbie Gotts, who fired past the onrushing Alexander to make it 1-4.
With 15 minutes to go Leeds found their fifth, Nketiah again finding the back of the net, poking it home from close range after yet another mazey run from Clarke split the Bolton defence, 1-5 and game over.
Leeds could have had a sixth goal late on, that danger man Clarke once again finding space to float a cross to the back post, but substitute Jordan Stevens could only fire his effort over the bar.
Full time and a 1-5 defeat for Bolton’s Under 23s, they take on Millwall on Friday in their next league clash.