On a cold Saturday morning at The Campus, Tranmere Rovers U18s ran out 2-1 victors against Bolton Wanderers U18s 2-1 with a resilient performance.
It was a mixed opening to the ninety, with chances at both ends as each set of players aimed to adjust to a heavy and wet pitch. However, the hosts would open the scoring through a Sam Taylor goal as the striker slotted into the far corner of the net from the edge of the area.
Taylor nearly made it two when he pounced on a loose ball moments later, the Bolton keeper getting down low to save comfortably.
Rovers could then have been awarded a penalty but claims were dismissed as the referee deemed it to be a good last-ditch tackle by the visiting defender.
Bolton started to create chances of their own as they forced a great save out of the James Dineley before the ball fell to an attacker who got tackled perfectly before having a chance to shoot.
With shouts for a penalty at both ends dismissed, one would soon be awarded when a Bolton attacker, through on goal, was tackled late. The taker stepped up to convert, slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The first half would end with the scores even, which was a fair scoreline considering the number of chances created.
Bolton started the second half off stronger as a few shots whistled past the post. However, Max Fisher scored to bring the hosts in front with an effort powered past the keeper from inside the box.
At the other end, Dineley continued to impress, saving a flick on from close range following a free kick. However, in the dying stages there were questions to whether his save from a direct set piece had trickled over the line but the ref waves played on.
Rovers remained strong under pressure to maintain their lead in an encounter which brought plenty of action.
Soon after, Alan Morgan gave his thoughts on his teams winning performance.
"The game was never going to be pretty today, with the weather conditions bringing a few puddles. However, the players were tremendous and they dug through to get the win. They’ve answered all the questions I’ve gave them and I’ll be very proud if they carry on with performances like today."
Tranmere team: Dineley, Capps, Dwyer, Haley, Cain, Jones, Bamgbose, Fisher, Duncan, Timlin, Taylor
Subs: Murray, Flight, Flight, Edwards.