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Stu Holden goes full 90 as U21s are downed by Stoke City

Michael Steele

It's been two years to the day since Stu Holden was stretchered off the pitch at Old Trafford following Jonny Evans' challenge. 24 months later, Holden has participated in three cup matches and one league match, totaling 184 minutes. That one league match came against Peterborough United at the end of February when Mark Davies was forced off with his own injury. Holden played a convincing 67 minutes in that one. Now, nearly a month after that, Stu was once again in action, but this time for the reserves.

Bolton Wanderers welcomed Stoke City's U21s to the County Ground on Monday Evening for U21 Premier League Group 2 action. Neither team has been doing particularly well thus far in the second phase of the U21PL with Bolton in fifth place (five points from four played) and Stoke in sixth (three points from six played).

We weren't at the County Ground tonight and thus have to go off the respective teams' match reports. Neither one could agree on which was the better side with Stoke's website calling the first half in Stoke's favor while the Trotters were adamant it was theirs. The two sides went into the half scoreless and it wasn't until the hour mark when Stoke scored from a long-range free kick headed in at the back post. Six minutes later, they were awarded a penalty and even though Jay Lynch guessed the correct direction, the ball still ended up in the back of the net.

Holden played the entire match and his main involvement came late on when he tested Stoke goalkeeper Dale Eve. Matt Mills, Zach Clough, Sanmi Odelusi, Chris Lester, Cian Bolger, and Josh Vela all played the full 90 minutes alongside Stu.

Bolton's next league match is on 30 March, away to Charlton, and while Stu is likely to be named in the side, it would have been a full month since his last league involvement.