AN UNFORTUNATE late own goal by Sam Bailey saw Wanderers Under-18s go down 2-1 at Manchester United on Saturday.
David Lee and Tony Kelly’s youngsters travelled to Carrington looking to wipe away the disappointment of their FA Youth Cup exit at Nottingham Forest three days earlier.
But there were changes due to the involvement of some of the older players in last night’s Under-21 clash against Crystal Palace at Leyland.
And the young Whites were behind after just seven minutes when United front man Mats Daehli opened the scoring on his 18th birthday.
Wanderers were not deterred and created several chances without converting them and went into half time just one goal behind.
Working hard, the Whites were level just before the hour mark when Tom Youngs’ shot was pushed out by the United stopper and Saul Hamer was on hand to slot the ball into the unguarded net.
It looked like Lee and Kelly’s side would get a deserved share of the spoils until Bailey deflected Sam Byrne’s shot past Jan-Ole Sievers in the Wanderers’ goal on 81 minutes.
It meant another Elite Group Phase defeat for the Whites youngsters but Lee commended their efforts against a strong United side.
He told The Bolton News: “The game was even throughout, only for us to concede an own goal with a wicked deflection.
“I was really pleased with the players and their commitment, especially with the squad made up of seven first years and seven Under-16s, with just two second years.”