Bolton Wanderers 0 Coventry City 0

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Bolton Wanderers 0 Coventry City 0

Postby dutchman » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Sky Blues frustrated by teenage Trotters


Coventry City were hugely frustrated by Bolton Wanderers’ youngest ever league side who held the Sky Blues to a hard-fought goalless draw.

Mark Robins’s men had three goals disallowed for off-side on a disappointing afternoon at the University of Bolton Stadium where they managed 12 attempts, albeit only three on target, as they dominated almost 70 per cent of the possession against a fresh-faced opposition with an average age of just 19.

Wanderers made five changes from their 2-0 opening day League One defeat at Wycombe last week after five seniors players from that match have refused to play, forcing Trotters’ boss Phil Parkinson to name a side packed with youngsters.

The oldest player in the side was 24-year-old left midfielder James Weir who signed for the club last week.

There are seven teenagers, including four 17-year-olds, making it the youngest ever side Wanderers have fielded in a senior league game - if not ever by any club in League One.

Despite Coventry dominating possession, it was a scrappy start to the game with Wanderers’ youngsters guilty of committing a number of fouls.

Robins’s men thought they made a breakthrough just before the half hour mark when Wesley Jobello stabbed home a low Jordan Shipley centre, only for the referee to consult his linesman and rule it out for off-side a good 30 seconds after the celebrations were complete.

It was far from one-way traffic as a gutsy home side full of youthful exuberance got stuck into the Sky Blues and had chances of their own, most notably from a first half corner that required keeper Marko Marosi to come to the rescue with a decent low save to deny 17-year-old Callum King-Harmes.

Shipley was denied by a good save from rookie stopper Matthew Alexander on his Wanderers debut, the 17-year-old pushing a rising drive over the bar as the visitors become more and more frustrated as the first half went on.

It was all square at the break and with the home crowd getting right behind the Bolton babes they appeared to grow in confidence as the game went on.

City continued to dominate the ball after the break and added to their frustration when they put the ball in the back of the net at second time, only for it to be disallowed for off-side again.

It came from a good move with Fankaty Dabo sending in a cross from the right which was knocked down by Jordy Hiwula at the back post and bundled in by Amadou Bakayoko.

Coventry also had a couple of penalty appeals, one against Liam Kelly in the first half and one against Bakayoko in the second, but both were waved away by the referee as the 1,915-strong Sky Blue Army sang, “You don’t know what you’re doing...”

Robins swapped his strike-forced on the hour, sending on Max Biamou and new signing Matty Godden for Hiwula and Bakayoko but the difficult afternoon continued for the visitors who simply couldn’t find a way through battling Bolton. And when they did, as Shipley managed on 75 minutes, they failed to hit the target.

City had a scare on 87 minutes when 16-year-old substitute Finlay Hurford-Lockett sent in a lovely ball for striker Eddie Brown who slid in but just failed to connect.

Robins then handed 16-year-old Will Bapaga his league debut for the club when he replaced Westbrooke for the final few minutes when a third goal was denied for the Sky Blues when Biamou tapped home, only for the flag to go up a third time.

The final whistle went and the stadium erupted as the home fans celebrated a sensational result given the gulf in age between the two sides.

Attendance: 8,901 (1,915 City)

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