Two late Bolton goals prevent Reds earning their first win of 2017
Barnsley Under 18s let a 3-1 lead slip in the final seven minutes as they drew 3-3 with Bolton Wanderers Under 18s this morning at Oakwell.
Despite falling behind late in the first half to a Luca Navarro penalty, the Reds rallied well in the second half, levelling six minutes in as Matty Wolfe squared for Louis Rowe to fire home.
Nine minutes later, Wolfe rose brilliantly to meet Kane Swinburn’s testing cross and Louis Rowe looked to have put the result beyond all doubt 13 minutes from time with another calm finish.
The Reds finished the game with 10-men after Swinburn came off injured with 10 minutes to go, and Bolton seized the initiative with two late goals.
Navarro again sent Arron Murphy the wrong way from the spot three minutes from time before teeing up Ryan White, whose effort squirmed past Murphy in stoppage time.
The result means the Reds begin 2017 with a point and are unbeaten in their last two Professional Development League fixtures.
A quiet opening to the first half from both sides threatened to have the game on as a scoreless, draw, but the Reds had the first effort on target 17 minutes in as Louis Rowe teed up Wilberforce Ocran, who prodded an effort on target, which was saved.
Sam Tingle fired over the top after excellent running from Rowe out wide before Bolton had their first meaningful effort on goal but Jack Earing was denied one-on-one by Murphy.
Barnsley thought they had made the breakthrough 10 minutes before half time as Matty Wolfe’s sensational pass was rolled home by Ocran, but the offside flag cut his celebrations short.
Ocran was in the thick of the action at the other end just before the break as he was adjudged to have committed a foul in the area, giving Bolton a penalty.
Navarro stepped up and slotted the ball out of Murphy’s reach to send the Trotters in ahead at the break.
HALF TIME: Barnsley 0-1 Bolton Wanderers
A double change at the break by Chris Howarth and Martin Devaney saw Philroy Peters and Sham Bertie introduced at the expense of Will Alderton and Jeff McGowan.
It inspired the Reds as first, Ocran hit the target from a tight angle within 60 seconds of the restart and the Reds were level six minutes later.
Wolfe raced away down the left-wing before pulling the ball back for Louis Rowe to beat the ‘keeper with a powerful strike.
Tingle was booked for a challenge made shortly after but the Reds took the lead on the hour mark as Kane Swinburn chipped the ball to the back post for an unmarked Wolfe to head home.
Howarth and Devaney’s side had their tails up and came close to extending the lead seconds later with two excellent efforts.
Wolfe took matters into his own hands and fizzed an effort centimetres over the top and his effort was immediately followed by Sham Bertie’s header, which span back off the line and stayed out.
Rowe appeared to have put the game beyond Bolton 13 minutes from time as he calmly slotted home his third at the end of a good run, but the departure of Kane Swinburn through injury threw Wanderers a lifeline.
A coming together in the area gave the Trotters a second penalty of the game, which Navarro slotted past Murphy but substitute Tom Clare almost restored the Reds’ two-goal cushion with a solo run, only for his shot to be saved.
And Bolton made the most of their numerical advantage in stoppage time as Navarro spun inside the area and set up White, who just squeezed the ball past Murphy and the efforts of Will Smith on the line.
Reds: Murphy (GK), Alderton (Peters, 46’ ), Smith, Lund, Simpson, Swinburn, Wolfe, Tingle, McGowan (Bertie, 46’ ), Rowe, Ocran (Clare, 69’ )
Subs: Greatorex (GK), Miller.