clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

U21s Match Report: Bolton Wanderers v Bristol City

Bolton Wanderers U21’s kicked off their season with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from George Newell and Jamie Thomas.

With the Capital One Cup game tomorrow, it was somewhat of a youthful team from Bolton Wanderers, with Ross Fitzsimons, Rob Holding, Alex Finney, Quade Taylor, Jordan Lussey, Andy Kellett and Kaiyne Woolery all notable by their absence.

With three defensive regulars missing it led to a very makeshift back four of 17-year-old Callum Spooner at right-back, right-back Hayden White and centre-midfielder Channing Campbell-Young at centre-back, and right-back Niall Maher at left back.

Alex Perry, Chris Cvetko and Jon Ceberio joined forgotten man Medo in midfield; with summer recruit George Newell partnering Jamie Thomas in attack.

It was Bristol City who threatened first, when almost straight away from kick-off, a lovely ball was lofted into the area but Bolton's makeshift back four managed to clear the danger. The Bolton team playing in a diamond similar to the first team quickly got into the game though, but Jamie Thomas' shot from range was easily gathered by City's goalkeeper (who looked suspiciously like Derik Osede).

It didn't take long for Wanderers to take the lead either. Niall Maher made a lovely run down the left wing, cut inside and played a nice ball across the box for George Newell to tap in at the far post.

However, merely two minutes later, the most experienced player on the pitch - Medo - gave the ball away very cheaply in midfield and Ashley Harper punished the mistake by coolly finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out, after Medo made absolutely no attempt to chase him down or rectify his mistake.

Medo carried on being sloppy in possession and looking generally disinterested and Hayden White was lucky not to be sent off when he lunged in on a player, two-footed in the middle of the pitch when there was absolutely no danger. The fact that he got a nick on the ball probably saved him but it was very very reckless.

Bolton tried to mix their attacking play up, varying between using the giant Jon Ceberio as a target man and trying to play out from the back. We did look quite nervous in possession at times though and the makeshift back four, Channing Campbell-Young in particular, had a few hairy moments.

Bolton's next real chance came in the 33rd minute when Jamie Thomas managed to keep an overhit through-ball from Ceberio in, and laid it back for the Spaniard to hit agonisingly wide from just outside the area. The Whites kept threatening, growing into the game and Medo almost got an unlikely assist when he played George Newell in but the ex-Everton man really should have done better.

Jamie Thomas' downfall could be that he is too confident at times, choosing the wrong option and taking one-too-many players on, but his own self-confidence was justified in a moment of individual brilliance in the second half, which saw him skillfully turn his man and finish with aplomb, giving Wanderers the lead again.

Harry Campbell, whose distribution was quite poor at times, provided a few heart-in-mouth moments in the second half, with his Manuel Neuer-esque charges out from his area to clear the danger but Bristol City never really threatened again apart from a very well-worked short corner routine.

Bolton saw the game out and it was quite a solid performance in the end considering the young and makeshift nature of the team. However, nobody really stood out; Newell had a few nice touches and Jamie Thomas' individual piece of skill was fantastic, but that's about it.


Harry Campbell - 6

Callum Spooner - 5

Channing Campbell-Young - 4

Hayden White - 5

Niall Maher - 6

Medo - 3

Alex Perry - 6

Chris Cvetko - 6

Jon Ceberio -6

George Newell - 7

Jamie Thomas - 6.5