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Bolton Wanderers Under-15s win Floodlit Trophy Final

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Bolton Wanderers Under-15s win Floodlit Trophy Final Large

Bolton Wanderers Under-15s beat Rochdale in dramatic circumstances to win the Floodlit Trophy Final on Thursday evening.

Facing off at the Crown Oil Arena, the young Whites clinched a last-minute 2-1 victory to lift the cup and cap off a memorable season.

Unbeaten throughout the competition, Bolton had finished top of a group which included Rochdale (drawing 0-0 and 4-4) before beating Barnsley 2-1 to reach the final.

Starting brightly, Adnaan Mustapha headed the Trotters ahead inside the opening five minutes before Brad Holmes went close to extending their lead in what was an even first half.

Peter Thomas levelled the scores for Rochdale shortly after the interval, before Mustapha was denied a second at the other end after being ruled offside.

But just as the game looked set to head to penalties, Malakai McKenzie struck in stoppage-time as he seized upon a loose ball before beating goalkeeper Brad Kelly with a deflected strike to seal a last-gasp victory for Wanderers.

Speaking to after the final whistle, Youth Development Phase Lead Coach Julian Darby said: "We're delighted for the lads at the end of a long season.

"All of their efforts and endeavours have been rewarded with silverware. but more importantly they have learnt and shown how to win games of football when you have to.

"Winning becomes a habit and brings confidence to individuals and teams and success within the Academy continues to grow after the successes of the Under-23s and Under-18s this season.

"Hopefully more home grown talent will progress to the first team in the near future and beyond."

Wanderers Starting XI: Luke Hutchinson, Nathan Whalley, Louie Dsouza, Regan Riley, Alex Francis, Lamine Toure, Adnaan Mustapha, Michael Maguire, Brad Holmes, Shaun Sithole, Malakai McKenzie.

Subs: Sam Gibbons, Dawit Kahsay, Jay Fitzmartin, Ethan Maguire, Justeace Nichols, Tye Turner.



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Shaun Shithole

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