Ford and McLoughlin on target as young Blues get back to winning ways
Goals either side of half-time were enough to ensure Town picked up a first U21 victory in five games.
Sam Ford and Shane McLoughlin scored for the Blues after Alex Samizadeh had opened the scoring for Bolton with half an hour played.
Town U21 boss, Mark Kennedy, had a relatively young squad at his disposal, with a number of regulars joining up with the first-team to travel to Manchester United in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup third round tie.
In a half of few chances, Trotters’ forward, Samizadeh looked like he could be the player most likely to make something happen. That proved to be the case as he forced Michael Crowe into an acrobatic save with his effort from the edge of the area, but the Town ‘keeper was equal to the effort, tipping the shot which was destined for the top corner over the crossbar.
Samizadeh was not to be denied, however and he gave Bolton the lead just after the half-hour, curling confidently into the top corner from the edge of the area having been fed in by Tyler Garratt.
Town were to go in at half-time level, however, as Ford fired past Harry Campbell in the Bolton goal. James Alabi found him lurking outside the box and Ford made no mistake, finding the bottom left from 20-yards out.
It took the Blues less than five minutes into the second- half to snatch the lead. Ford again came close, as he looked to place the ball past Campbell, but the ‘keeper’s parry fell kindly to the feet of McLoughlin who gleefully finished into an open goal.
Town were now fully in the ascendancy and substitute Cemal Ramadan came close to making it three. Alabi’s powerful running down the right allowed him the opportunity to cut back for Ramadan but the resulting effort was well saved by Campbell.
The visitors, however begun to creep back into the game and it took two marvellous pieces of defending from Joe Robinson to keep Bolton at bay. The first was a header at the near post put behind for a corner, denying Thomas a tap-in into an empty net and the second saw him clear a Cvetko shot off the line after Crowe was beaten.
Town held on though to secure a thoroughly deserved victory.