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Adam Senior scores two as Reserves return to winning ways against Walsall

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Adam Senior scores two as Reserves return to winning ways against Walsall 13671650

Adam Senior is “a great role model” for Wanderers’ young players, according to lead professional coach Dave Gardiner.

The defender scored a couple of penalties as the Whites’ reserve side returned to winning ways with an emphatic 5-1 victory against 10-man Walsall at the Eddie Davies Academy.

Sam Olawumi, Mitchell Henry and Lamine Toure also got on the scoresheet, with Josh Simcox shown a second yellow card during the second half.

“Adam is a great role model for all the young lads coming through - his desire to work hard off the training pitch and work hard every day,” Gardiner told The Bolton News.

“When he does come down and help the young lads, I think it epitomises what the club is about and what the young lads should be looking to follow for the future.

“Just having one player like him in the team today makes a massive difference. The lads have been up against it in the last few weeks against experienced sides.

“Today was a bit more evenly-matches and I think they got the chance to take on the experience they have had these past few weeks and show everyone how much ability they have got.

“I thought some of the younger players really showed that they have got a good future here.”

Wanderers named a youthful line-up including Senior and Finlay Lockett, who made his first start since returning from a serious knee injury.

The hosts took an early lead when Adam Senior slotted home from the penalty spot after Max Conway’s corner had caused chaos in the Walsall defence.

The Whites were awarded another penalty moments later when Conway was tripped in the box and Senior against kept his cool to send Jensen Kilroy the wrong way.

Conway then tried his luck from the edge of the box after a well-worked corner but his effort was blocked by a defender.

At the other end, Senior made a vital last-ditch challenge after being put under pressure by a sloppy backpass.

Wanderers added a third midway through the first half when Olawumi beat Kilroy with a clinical finish after Mitchell Henry had won the ball back in a dangerous area.

The visitors began to grow into the game, with Ronan Maher sending an effort over the bar from the edge of the box.

Ellis Litherland then made a smart stop low to his right to deny Ryley Reynolds, before Maher sent another strike over the bar.

The ball then dropped to Will Uchenna in a dangerous position but he fired straight at Litherland.

On the stroke of half time, Sonny Sharples got in behind but a Walsall defender managed to get back and make an important block.

But the visitors pulled one back just before the break when Ollie Waddison’s strike hit the inside of the post and bounced in off Senior, who could do nothing.

Wanderers restored their three-goal lead early in the second half when Henry slotted home from close range.

Kilroy then made a fine stop low to his right to deny Lockett from close range after some good work by Conway on the left flank.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men when Simcox was given his marching orders after a late challenge.

Inside the final 15 minutes, Lucas Edwards beat his man before slicing wide of the near post after Wanderers were undone by a quick free kick.

Matthew Tweedley then sent an effort inches wide of the far post before Toure powered home in the final stages.

It was Wanderers’ penultimate Central League fixture of the campaign, with an away fixture against the Saddlers still to come.

Gardiner admits it has been demanding for the younger players at times in recent months but is delighted with their progress.

He added: “I think we have had two different parts of the season.

“In the first part, we had a mixture of youth team and first team players and that really helped them – they were role models for them during the games.

“In the second part, the young lads have had to do it on their own but it has been a fantastic experience and it has actually helped when it has come to Saturdays.

“It has been a great learning opportunity for them. Although at times it has probably been a little too much, especially the last 20 minutes of games.

“But overall I think today shows what they have actually learned from the experience.”

Bolton: Litherland, Beardsworth (Toure), Halford, Senior, Conway, Tweedley, Pettifer, Sharples (Burgess), Henry, Olawumi, Lockett (Jones)

Walsall: Kilroy, Baldwin, Reynolds, Sawyers, Cox, Edwards, Shaw, Maher, Waddison, Uchenna, Simcox


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