Bolton Wanderers Under-21 side on Monday night had several players on the pitch that did not meet the age requirement. Hungarian international Adam Bogdan continued his return from injury in goal. Medo Kamara started in the center of midfield. And, leading the line, in his Bolton debut, none other than former England international Emile Heskey. Other names that might look familiar to Wanderers supporters were Chris Lester and Sanmi Odelusi, youngsters who have been in or around the first team the last two seasons.
Tom Walker actually combined well with Heskey in the first half, and the old man set up a couple of chances for the youngster. No matter our opinion of Heskey overall, it had to be a real thrill for the under-21 players to be on the pitch with someone possessing a resume like his.
kaiyne Woolery replaced Medo at halftime. His name may sound familiar, as he came off the bench to score two goals against Arsenal not too long ago. Kamara has not figured in the first team under Lennon, an only played a half on this one. It makes me wonder if there is a fitness issue we don't know about with him.
The match was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes so they went to extra time. Reading FC scored twice in added extra time, although neither was really Bogdan's fault. That said, if he wants any chance of getting his shirt back, he is going to have to be much better when he gets a chance to play.
As for Heskey, he was a battering ram of a striker, as usual. He set up Walker a couple times, and generally tossed aside the younger, smaller defenders Reading set out to play against him. After 63 minutes the big man was replaced. Given the shortage of forwards Bolton has right now, I think it is likely that Neil Lennon will offer his old friend a short-term, low risk contract.
Personally, I would like to see some the younger players (Conor Wilkinson, Tom Eaves, Zach Clough, Georg Iliev, etc.) given a chance instead, but I can see the reasoning behind it. What do you think, dear readers? Let us know in the comments section.