U18s Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Tranmere Rovers

Goals from Finley Lockett and Mitchell Henry saw the young Wanderers earn a draw against Tranmere Rovers in their opening game of the season at Lostock.

Lockett, captaining the Whites, put the hosts back on terms ten minutes before the break after Tranmere had taken the lead against the run of play, Henry then earned his side a deserved point on the stroke of full-time after Rovers had restored their advantage.

Wanderers started the game really well, controlling every aspect of the game with Tranmere adopting a counter-attacking approach.

Rovers scored first from a set piece against the run of play but Wanderers responded by moving the ball even quicker and got their reward with a great goal from Lockett. 

The hosts started the second half like they did in the opening 45 minutes in complete control. Tranmere resorted to defending their 18-yard area throughout the second period hoping to catch Wanderers on the break.

The young Wanderers were wasteful in the final third, where they created a host of opportunities to score.

Tranmere took the lead against the run of play once again. A long ball caught the two defenders square with the Rovers’ lone striker running through on goal. It was attack v defence throughout the whole game. Leaving the last 20 minutes with Bolton asking all the questions, again missing great goal scoring opportunities.

With Wanderers knocking at the door, it was inevitable they got the equaliser. It took a passage of ten passes to open up the Tranmere defence with a great cross from Nathan Whalley to number nine striker Mitchell Henry who headed in the equaliser right at the death.

Wanderers Academy Manager Mark Litherland said: “I was really proud of the players. They dominated the game from the start to the end. Two lapses of concentration cost us both goals, but I asked the lads to play like a big team and they certainly did.

“We played with a great intensity throughout the game, passing the ball really well. We had so much of the ball but the players switched off and it cost us dear.

“Our reaction to conceding the goals was top class, because we missed so many chances. It’s really important we dominate possession whoever we play against.

“This will help to develop our players’ long-term development plan.”


Wanderers Under 18s:

Ellis Litherland, Nathan Whalley, Max Conway, Arran Pettifer, Lamine Toure (Sonny Ahmed 70 mins), Ryan Colvin, Regan Riley, Markus Assarsson, Mitchell Henry, Finlay Lockett ©, Matthew Tweedley.

Subs Not Used: Jack Thompson, Joe Brown, Layton KIrnon. 

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