SO much unwanted history has been created at Bolton Wanderers of late, it feels positively life-affirming to celebrate something as simple as a point gained by a team of players who were just happy to be there.

Let it not mask over the wider issues of the club, those highlighted so passionately by Phil Parkinson after the final whistle, nor let us kid ourselves that the road ahead will be a smooth one.

But, just for a moment, put the cynicism to one side and reflect on the fact the youngest-ever Bolton Wanderers team has just played with pride enough to bring grown men to tears.

Seventeen of the 18 players on the team-sheet came directly from the Eddie Davies Academy, the Manchester United-reared James Weir, an elder statesman at 24, the only exception.

The average age of the squad was just 18.25 years, the starting line-up a shade over 19. In footballing terms this game should never have been close.

Unlike the previous weekend at Wycombe, when a late change of heart enabled Parkinson to play the small collection of senior players at his disposal, the Bolton boss knew early on Friday he would have to trust the teenagers.

A court injunction gained by Laurence Bassini last Thursday stopped a takeover by the Football Ventures consortium in its tracks, and – according to a statement from joint-administrator, Paul Appleton, threatened the club’s very existence.

Those words were the final straw for senior players now concerned that injury in a competitive game could hamper their employability elsewhere if the club went bust.

Their stance divided opinion among outsiders looking in on a dressing room which has been left badly scarred by events of the last 12 months, particularly as their involvement at Wycombe had been so roundly praised.

Whatever the rights or wrongs, their withdrawal left a squad to pick from with just 13 senior appearances between them, most of which had been made at Adams Park.

Coventry’s own squad was a relatively youthful one but they remain team tipped by many to be play-off contenders this season despite being unable to compete in their own city because of long-running stadium ownership issues.

It says a lot about Bolton’s woes that the Sky Blues went into this game looking like the stable ones.

Parkinson and the first team coaching staff stepped back a little during the build-up to allow more familiar faces like Nicky Spooner, Gavin McCann, Julian Darby and Brian Morris to prepare the squad and take some of the pressure off such young shoulders.

But from the warm-up it was clear to see this wasn’t any ordinary game.

Fans, who had only been able to buy their ticket 28-hours earlier, cheered every goal, every save in the pre-match shooting drills and roared the players back down the tunnel. They emerged a few minutes later standing 10 feet tall.

The record books will show this was the stadium’s lowest-ever gate for a league game at 8,901 but the noise generated was equal to any roar the Reebok ever made.

The tone was set by centre-halves Yoan Zouma and Liam Edwards, who had both been outstanding against a physical Wycombe front line a week earlier but here exuded more confidence dealing with the Sky Blues’ more mobile attack.

Harry Brockbank’s calmness conflicted with the general frantic nature of the game. The Harwood 20-year-old, a lifelong Wanderer, became the youngest captain since Kevin Nolan and summed up the strong connection between terrace and pitch.

Coventry had three goals ruled out for offside in total – the first of which, for Wesley Jobello, seemed borderline. The referee’s assistant raised his flag impossibly late to cut short celebrations, a sight which is likely to be commonplace after the most recent rule changes.

Bolton’s attacking forays were less frequent but almost always went through Ronan Darcy, the busy playmaker, or the slightly more graceful – if no less hard-working – Dennis Politic.

Callum King-Harmes came close to a memorable opening goal with a volley late in the first half which brought about a fine save from Marko Marosi.

Coventry continued to create chances in the second half, as the physical demands started to tell on younger legs, but their failure to find a killer touch inspired yet more hope in the Bolton Babes.

The slender 17-year-old frame of keeper, Matt Alexander, stood defiantly in the Bolton goal, making several saves during the course of the game that had home fans chanting: “England’s number one!”

Amadou Bakayoko and then Maxime Biamou were frustrated by the linesman’s flag after thinking they had made the breakthrough – and the Sky Blues’ loud travelling support, 1,900 strong, were to be left disappointed.

But from a Bolton perspective, history had been made. Nat Lofthouse had famously named a team with seven teenagers to play Sheffield United in 1971, a game they won 2-1.

Alan Boswell, John Ritson, John Manning, Alan Waldron, John Hulme, Paul Jones, Jimmy Redfern, Ian Seddon, Paul Fletcher, Garry Jones and Ronnie Phillips didn’t do too badly for themselves.

Who among Matthew Alexander, Harry Brockbank, Liam Edwards, Yoan Zouma, Joe White, Dennis Politic, Sonny Graham, Callum King-Harmes, James Weir, Ronan Darcy, Eddie Brown, Finlay Hurford-Lockett, Luke Hutchinson, Jordan Boon, Adam Senior, De’Marilo Brown-Sterling, D’Neal Richards and Regan Riley will go and join some of those luminaries as legends of this great club?

Their names and faces may not have been too familiar before this season but that may all be about to change.

A tremendous effort was acknowledged by Parkinson after the final whistle – and the Bolton boss underlined that staff, such as out-of-contract academy goalkeeper coach Ben Williams, had contributed to the result unpaid.

We were talking about the football again, and how good it felt. Echoing the feeling of every Bolton Wanderers supporter, Parkinson implored the powers-that-be to put an end to the club’s suffering and allow the rebuilding to begin, making a direct point about Bassini’s involvement.

“Everybody has done their bit, everybody at the club,” he said. “We have given this club the best opportunity to move forward but we’re fed up – just like the supporters – of this mess.

“We don’t want to hear on Monday ‘oh it’ll be a few days, there’s another couple of things’. We don’t want that anymore.

“This is a great club. The fans came down in number for Wycombe, they got messed around with tickets for this game, they have queued up in the rain to get their seats. They have done their bit to show they have pride in this club. Now it is up to them. No more excuses.”