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gawthorpe 1920 1000x500Burnley’s under-18s had to settle for a point today from a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderer at Gawthorpe and but for a glaring miss from the last kick of the game we’d have been left without even a point.

It’s not often you come up against a side at this level where a member of the opposition has already played first team football but it was very much so today with five members of the Bolton tem having played in their early League One games this season prior to the takeover of the club being completed.

Despite that, we started the better of the two sides and went in front in only the 14th minute from Mitch George, the team’s leading goalscorer and I don’t think many would have been too surprised at that point to see us go on and win handsomely. We had the ball in the net again when the Bolton keeper seemed to head home a right wing corner but the referee awarded a free kick to Bolton.

Bolton did create some chances but were too often caught offside but they got a lifeline when the referee awarded what many spectators thought was a very harsh handball. There was no danger to our goal and Ben Woods’ arm was against his body, but the official, despite not having a good vantage point, immediately pointed to the spot.

With Harry Allen having gone to Curzon Ashton on loan, Lewis Wood was expected to play in goal, but it was under-16 goalkeeper Sam Waller. He got down to his left to push the spot kick onto the post and grabbed it on the line before they could get in and score.

It was 1-0 at half time and there was nothing to suggest we wouldn’t go on and win it but the second half performance was nowhere near the level of the first although we continued to dominate play and it was a surprise when Bolton equalised, converting a from a corner with still around a quarter of the game to play.

There was to be no recovery. We got balls into their box on numerous occasions but couldn’t find that elusive clear chance and then, right on time, Bolton really should have won it when all the had to do was put the ball into the net from point blank range. They missed it, the final whistle blew and it was all square at 1-1 with us getting our first draw of the season.

The Burnley team was: Sam Waller, Kane Patterson, Jake Rooney, Edon Pruti, Matty Rain, Rhys Fenlon, Ben Woods, Dylan Moonan, Cricky Conn-Clarke, Mitch George, Jayden Major (Corey Brennan 70, Joel Connolly 83). Subs not used: Brad Rose, Matty Carson, Fin Armstrong.

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