WANDERERS’ new academy manager Mark Litherland was delighted with what he saw from his Under-18s side as they opened their season with a 2-2 draw against Tranmere.

Captain Finley Lockett and Mitchell Henry were on target as Bolton twice came from behind to take a share of the spoils at Lostock.

There were plenty of positives for Litherland though with possession key for his youngsters, as it is for Ian Evatt’s senior side.

“I was really proud of the players,” he told the club website.

“They dominated the game from the start to the end. Two lapses of concentration cost us both goals, but I asked the lads to play like a big team and they certainly did.

“We played with a great intensity throughout the game, passing the ball really well. We had so much of the ball but the players switched off and it cost us dear.

“Our reaction to conceding the goals was top class, because we missed so many chances. It’s really important we dominate possession whoever we play against.

“This will help to develop our players’ long-term development plan.”

Tranmere took the lead from a set piece against the run of play with Jamie Timlin getting his first of the afternoon before Lockett levelled things up on 35 minutes.

Wanderers then saw chances come and go in the second half before the visitors went in front for a second time, after the hosts were caught out by a long ball and Timlin raced clear to score.

Bolton then went back on the front foot but it wasn’t until late in the piece that they got their reward as Henry headed in a Nathan Whalley cross to ensure Litherland’s side didn’t come away empty handed.