U23: BOLTON WANDERERS 1-0 MILLWALL
Under 23 Professional Development League: North Division
Monday 29th January, The County Ground (Lancashire FA HQ), PR25 2LF
Goalscorer: Hall (35)
Bolton Wanderers kept their place at the top of the Professional Development League North with victory over Millwall.
Connor Hall’s first half strike proved enough to see the young Whites over the line, with the striker continuing his superb goalscoring form.
It was the hosts that came closest to opening the score inside the first ten minutes, when Hall came a matter of inches away from latching onto Tyler Walker’s low cross.
Millwall’s first glimmer of a chance came from a corner when David Ajiboye’s beauty of a delivery somehow evaded everyone in the Wanderers’ box.
It was Walker that was causing danger out wide once again on the half hour mark, when he cut inside from the right and struck a fierce effort that flashed just wide of the post.
The response to that chance was positive from the visitors though. Ajiboye came close to finding the net when he latched onto a cross, but his effort from close range took a deflection and bounced the wrong side of the crossbar.
However, it was Wanderers that hit the front through Hall on 35 minutes – the ball broke the No.9’s way after his pressure caused a defensive mix-up, and he kept a cool head to slide home the opener.
David Lee’s side looked destined to go in ahead, but Millwall were gifted the chance to equalise when Liam Morris conceded the penalty kick for a trip on Harry Donovan.
Noel Leighton stepped up to take the spot-kick, but the forward saw his low drilled effort saved by the feet of James Aspinall, meaning that Wanderers went in at the break with the lead.
It was the trailing side that came out the livelier and Isaac Olaofe had a glorious chance to level when he was picked out inside the box, but his side footed effort was blocked well.
Hall’s first half goal was the difference and the marksman had another chance to score after nice link up play with strike partner Chinedu Obasi, but his snapshot was blocked this time round.
Christian Mbulu rose well to get on the end of a corner kick just after the hour, only to see his glancing header dart the wrong side of the far post.
In a half of precious little in terms of chances the Lions did have an opportunity from a set-piece, when Leighton’s goal bound header was kept out.
The London-outfit were in hunt of a leveller with substitute Lucas Sinclair the next to try his luck, but James Aspinall was on hand to collect his low strike.