Wolves 1 (Swan 12)
Trialist defender George Swan was the match winner for Wolves with his 12th minute goal deciding an entertaining under 21s contest with Bolton at the Bucks Head.
In a game that they should have won by a far more convincing scoreline, Wolves started strongly and, in the third minute, Connor Hunte ran for 30-yards before taking a shot that was deflected behind.
Albert Torras hit a low shot that ran through to Bolton keeper Ross Fitzsimons following a neat build up, before Bolton’s first chance in the seventh minute – a 30-yard free-kick from Rob Hall that drifted narrowly wide.
Ibrahim Keita headed over at the near post following a cross from Ben O’Hanlon before Wolves moved into the lead. Eusebio Bancessi’s corner wasn’t properly cleared by the Bolton defence and when Torras fired in a low, driven cross, Swan was on hand to volley the ball over the line at the near post from close quarters.
O’Hanlon then took the ball from halfway and tried a shot from 22-yards that was powerful enough but went straight to Fitzsimons.
Both sides had a chance within a few seconds of the 29th minute. Eusebio ran in from the left with Quade Taylor in hot pursuit but the winger was off balance as he tried a shot on the run and his effort was wide.
When play switched to the other end, Bolton skipper Georg Iliev ran in from the left and hit a cross-shot that Aaron McCarery did well to turn over.
A mistake by Swan let in Tom Walker but as the Bolton man got in a shot, Swan retrieved the situation by getting back to block.
McCarey made another good stop, this time from Zach Clough after Hall had pulled the ball back. Then there was another free-kick from Hall who got a second chance of planting the ball into the box after it bounced back to him off a defender. There was a brief scramble in the box before the ball fell to Tom Youngs whose half hit shot from eight-yards was saved by McCarey.
Just before the break, when Bancessi’s corner was headed back to him he hit a first time ball into the box that Keita headed wide at the near post.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Bolton 0
Wolves continued to hold the upper hand after the restart and Keita hit a sweet volley that was taken by Fitzsimons.
Jim Kellerman fired over after a cross from Bancessi who was then inches off target with a drive from the edge of the box after he had ridden two challenges.
Bancessi was involved again shortly afterwards when he was too high with a diving header following a cross from Hunte.
On the hour mark, O’Hanlon stormed into the box from the left and hit an angled shot that beat Fitzsimons but bounced off the base of the far post. Torras took possession and returned the ball to the danger area where Keita just failed to turn it over the line.
Skipper Domonic Iorfa, who was having a fine game at the back, went close twice after successive Wolves corners.
From the first, taken by Bancessi, Fitzsimmons made a brilliant save from the defender’s header before the second flag-kick, this time taken by Hunte, saw Iorfa head wide.
Kellerman headed over after Ryan Rainey had played the ball into the box as a second goal continued to elude this young Wolves side.
They could have been made to pay for their wastefulness two minutes from time when McCarey had to make a superb save from Hall’s angled drive. But Wolves were good value for the three points.
Wolves: McCarey, Rainey, O’Hanlon, Weeks (Erdei 79), Iorfa (capt), Swan, Bancessi, Torras, Keita (Reid 75), Kellerman, Hunt (Carter 85).
Unused subs: Flatt, Ronan.
Booking: Kellerman (77 – foul).
Bolton: Fitzsimons, Maher, Taylor, Holding (Ball 79), Finney, Hughes, Youngs, Walker, Iliev (capt), Clough, Hall.
Unused subs: Campbell, Woolery, Bastos, Barrett.
Referee: I. Dudley.