FINLAY LOCKETT’S late penalty spot equaliser took Bolton Wanderers under 18s Youth Alliance Quarter Final tie against Rochdale to a penalty shootout from which they exited the competition.
The tie, which was played at Hyde United, saw the hosts start the better of the two teams as they controlled possession of the ball but without creating any real clear cut chances.
However, it was Wanderers who had the first clear cut chance of the game with Max Conway putting Mitch Henry through on goal. Unfortunately, Henry was unable to convert as his first effort went over the bar.
The hosts took the lead when a cross from Rochdale’s right hand side saw a Wanderers defender put the ball into his own goal.
Wanderers then started to wrestle control of the game and created some good goal scoring opportunities.
The second half saw the visitors controlling the tempo of the game, with Wanderers’ midfield dominating possession.
A fast flowing moved down Rochdale’s left resulted in Conway being put through. He cut the ball back to Jay Fitzmartin whose shot went straight at the keeper.
Wanderers’ pressure eventually paid off when a long ball over the Rochdale defence saw Max Wilcox charge down on goal. The Rochdale centre back clipped Wilcox’s heel and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Lockett made no mistake from the penalty spot and ensure the game ended at full-time all square.
However, the game went to penalties with Rochdale winning the game successfully converting four of their strikes to Wanderers’ one.
Academy Manager Mark Litherland said: “The players were terrific. Their running data was the best of the season and we couldn’t fault the players’ effort.
“The lack of quality in the final third ultimately cost us the game.”
Hutchinson, Whalley, Conway, Assarsson, Colvin, Pettifer (Wilcox 55), Fitzmartin (Le Fondre 65), Tweedley, Lockett, Riley, Henry
Subs Not Used: Thompson, Litherland, McEvoy.