A youth cup match at the County Ground

Match Report: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Coventry City

Report by Ryan Smart (UCLan)

Goals from Joe Pritchard and Connor Hall ensured that Bolton’s 100% record in the Professional Development League continued. 

Jordan Ponticelli scored a late consolation for Coventry but it wasn’t enough to claim a point.

The game started quietly but quickly gained in pace, Bolton having the majority of the early opportunities.

Their first chance of the game resulted in the opening goal, Hall beating his man on the left before floating in a cross which Pritchard met, guiding his header past the outstretched arm of Coventry ‘keeper Corey Addai.

Coventry almost produced an immediate response on 13 minutes, Ponticelli’s rebound after a blocked free kick well saved by Remi Matthews.

Bolton then began to assert their dominance, Hall and Politic finding their efforts well saved by Addai on 15 minutes.

Addai was called into action again a minute later, parrying a well struck effort from Hall wide to force a corner, which came to nothing.

The next big opportunity fell to the visitors on 36 minutes, with some good build up play finding Jodi Jones but his effort from the edge of the box was easily gathered by Matthews.

There was then chaos on the Coventry backline as Bolton continued to press.

On 42 minutes, Hall did well to square the ball to Luca Navarro on the edge of the box – his first touch left Addai wrongfooted with the defence beaten but it was well cleared off the line by the last man.

A mistake on 44 minutes allowed Hall to run clear on goal, but his shot was again well saved by the impressive Addai in the Coventry goal.

HT Bolton U23s 1-0 Coventry U23s

The first chance of the second half fell to Wanderers, Navarro coming agonisingly close when his right footed effort was always curling back in but struck the far post.

Hall was right in the action again on 53 minutes, but may have been disappointed that his close range effort beat the keeper but beat the post as well.

On the counter, Reise Allassani broke through down the right on 60 minutes and used his pace to beat Liam Edwards but the Bolton captain recovered well to block his shot from the edge of the box.

Navarro had another good opportunity on 62 minutes, first seeing Pritchard’s initial effort blocked before his shot went high of the target.

However, Coventry were continuing to threaten and Allassani’s whipped cross found Billy Stedman whose ambitious overhead effort cleared the bar.

Ponticelli was next to attempt to threaten Matthews, but his right footed effort from 18 yards was always rising.

As the game entered its final 10 minutes, Coventry won a string of corners but none tested Bolton’s number one.

A misjudgement in the Bolton back line meant Ponticelli was one on one with Matthews but his attempted chip over the Bolton ‘keeper was tame and easily caught.

Coventry were then made to pay for their missed chances, Connor Hall latching on to a long kick from Matthews – whose kicking was strong throughout – before taking a touch and calmly finishing past Addai.

Coventry had further chances to get back into the game, Allessani having a well struck effort parried away by Matthews for a corner and Tom Davies having his header from a subsequent corner cleared off the line.

They did notch a consolation in added time, Ponticelli controlling a rebound well and firing into the corner from close range to finally beat Matthews.

The game ended 2-1, with David Lee’s side having now recorded three wins from three games this season.

Bolton XI; Matthews (GK), Brockbank, Earing, Edwards ( c ), Zouma, Jones-Griffiths, Politic (Nemane 86), Wood, Hall, Pritchard, Navarro

Subs not used;, Aspinall, Hartshorne, E Brown, Connell

Coventry XI; Addai (GK), Thompson, J Brown, Davies, Williams, Eccles, Allassani, Westbrooke, Ponticelli, Jones (Ngundu 45), Stedman

Subs not used; Ford, Billson, Walters, McCallum