Maffeo 45mins, Boadu 67 mins, Celina 74mins, 92mins
Bolton Wanderers 1
J Thomas 54mins
- Match reports
- 16 November 2013 14:22
- Posted by @porter_mcfc / pics by @VHaydn_mcfc
It was a tale of two substitutions as City u18s extended their unbeaten run to five games.
City were looking to build on a run of impressive victories against Newcastle, Arsenal and Southampton which yielded 11 goals scored and none conceded, and have propelled the young Sky Blues back towards the top of the u18 league table.
For this clash with the Trotters, Jason Wilcox shuffled his pack. Charlie Albinson kept his place between the sticks, but Charlie Oliver returned to partner Tosin Adarabioyo in the centre of defence, while Ash Smith-Brown started in midfield and Kean Bryan returned after missing the Southampton game with a minor injury.
A chilly and grey Platt Lane welcomed players and spectators for this November fixture, and the early stages mirrored the weather, with both teams struggling to settle into a passing rhythm or carve out meaningful openings.
City began to seize control as the half time whistle approached, with Bryan and Smith-Brown pulling the strings in the centre of the park.
Bryan had a free header in the box on the half hour mark, but couldn’t quite get enough power on it to beat Harry Campbell in the Bolton goal, and he fired over the bar from distance just a minute later.
Oliver was denied from a corner by the quick reflexes of Campbell, while Smith-Brown’s shot from the edge of the area flashed just past the post and Thierry Ambrose had a header cleared off the line.
It was beginning to look like it wouldn’t happen for City when right back Pablo Maffeo took matters into his own hands with a powerful run upfield before smacking the ball into the net for his first goal as a City player.
The young Sky Blues began the second period with renewed vigour, but were hit with a Bolton equaliser ten minutes after the restart through winger Jamie Thomas, who picked up the ball on the left and slid it past Albinson.
The visitors might have made it two – captain Liam Gibson’s excellent strike from long range was heading straight for the back of the net before Albinson intervened, pushing the ball round the post.
Enter Boadu, who replaced Bryan on 65 minutes and restored the lead with his first touch, curling a beautiful shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
He was involved again minutes later, combining with Brandon Barker on the counterattack to force a good save from Campbell once more, and it was his initial shot that was blocked before fellow sub Celina reacted fastest to stroke the ball home for City’s third.
Bolton couldn’t cope with City’s movement and pace of the attacks, and Barker might have grabbed one himself, cutting inside before shooting over on two occasions.
It was left to Celina to have the last word in stoppage time, rounding off a day that belonged to the substitutes with a powerful header into the bottom corner from Angelino’s cross.
Wilcox’s men have now won four on the bounce, and will be keen to keep that record going when they face Blackburn on Saturday.