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U23s Held By Bolton

10 October 2016

Goalless draw at Florence Park.

The U’s U23s have drawn 0-0 against Bolton Wanderers in their latest Development League Two fixture.

New signing Lloyd Doyley was an experienced head in the young U’s line-up, and both he and fellow centre half Frankie Kent, recovering from injury, completed ninety minutes.

Both sides had good sights of the opposition goal, but failed to make them count in Monday afternoon’s encounter at Florence Park.

The first chance fell to Femi Akinwande on three minutes but he couldn’t give the U’s an early lead with his shot from the edge of the box.

He had another effort deflected for a corner four minutes later as the U’s controlled the early stages, but the visitors had the better of the remainder of the first half.

Bolton’s Alex Honeyball rose highest at a corner into the U’s box on fourteen minutes, but his header hit the top of the bar and flew over.

And the Bolton centre half was denied again on twenty two minutes, with James Bransgrove showing world class reflexes to palm away a volley from a wide free kick.

The resultant corner caused problems, with a shot coming back off the post before it was hurriedly cleared out the box.

A central free kick could have meant more trouble for Bransgrove and the U’s defence after thirty three minutes, but the initial effort was blocked and the rebound hit straight at Bransgrove.

The U’s were having to defend their box towards the end of the half, with Jack Earing hitting an effort over the bar before heading another just above the crossbar, although it looked like Bransgrove had the second one covered.

Like the opening half, the U’s had the first effort of the second period, Frankie Kent heading wide from a Tariq Issa corner.

Bransgrove then did well to palm away a dangerous low cross into the U’s area, before seeing a header safely over his crossbar.

On fifty four minutes, the U’s broke forward on the right through Brendan Ocran and his shot was spilled by Jake Turner in the Bolton goal, only for Akinwande to drill his rebound straight at the recovering keeper.

Decarrey Sherriff, who was making life extremely difficult for the Bolton defence, cut inside and hit a shot that Turner managed to palm to safety.

That came on sixty seven minutes, with the U’s in control, but they were thankful to the woodwork two minutes later when another header rebounded to safety off the post.

Chris Regis supplied the ammo for the next U’s attack, crossing from the right – but Sherriff’s header went wide of the target.

Regis was in the action again on seventy nine minutes, but he couldn’t make the most of an incisive through ball from Ocran as he pulled is shot horribly wide of the far post.

Bransgrove made two comfortable saves in the final eight minutes, from a free kick and then a shot from the edge, as the visitors ended the game on the front foot.

The final whistle went seconds after the second save, and a draw was probably a fair result in an evenly matched encounter. 

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