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Immediate Reaction: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Bradford (3-4 pens)

It was men against boys with the young Wanderers putting in a remarkable display.

Bolton Wanderers v Bradford City - EFL Trophy Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

That may well be the best I have ever seen Bolton Wanderers play. This is a group of players who have been forced into the first team at short notice and put through a string of heavy defeats. Did they play like that? Not even a little bit.

This young Wanderers team played an experienced Bradford side off the park for 45 minutes. The visitors edged the second half, but the youngsters kept to the task at hand and left nothing out there on the pitch.

Denis Politic put in a remarkable display of strength and skill, capped off with a second professional goal for the club. His jinking run in the second half will I’m sure be on social media before too long and was simply incredible.

Adam Senior and Yoan Zouma put in a titanic shift at the centre of defence. Matthew Alexander put in a valiant shift in goal pulling off some great saves. I called it during the shoot out that a save was coming and he did indeed get his reward.

Bolton Wanderers v Bradford City - EFL Trophy Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

All over the pitch the lads were immense. Ronan Darcy was full of running and great link up play. De’Marlio Brown-Sterling would not leave anyone alone after his second half introduction.

Each and every one of the lads deserves an individual shout out but I will save that for the player ratings and not steal someone else's thunder.

We keep on saying that the result doesn’t matter and all we want is a team to be proud of. Each and every one of these young lads has played out of their skin for the last few weeks and have proved that point. They will take a well deserved rest with no game on the weekend and a plethora of new signings, but I suspect I will not be the only one hoping to see them all out there at the Reebok again before too long.

What a way to lay the foundations for a new era under Football Ventures and Keith Hill! Did we even need all those deadline day signings...? Maybe not after all.