Report: Hull City U23s 4 Bolton Wanderers U23s 0
Hull City U23s recorded their biggest win of the season as they beat Bolton Wanderers 4-0 at Bishop Burton on Friday afternoon.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, four second half goals from Lewis Ritson, Matty Jacob, Elliot Bonds and Ahmed Salam sealed what was a comfortable and fully deserved win for the Tigers.
Norbert Balogh was included in the starting line-up, making his first appearance since picking up an injury in the Championship game at Nottingham Forest, whilst Sean McLoughlin played his first game for the Tigers after returning from his loan spell at St Mirren. They replaced Will Jarvis and Danny Lupano respectively. The only other change made by Jon Beale and Andy Dawson to the side that lost at Leeds five days earlier saw Robbie McKenzie replace Lucas Odunston at right-back.
Top scorer Ahmed Salam had the first chance for City but his left-foot strike was off target. Jordan Hickey and Salam then combined to create a chance for Balogh but he steered his effort just wide of the post.
Hickey’s low strike from the edge of the box was held by Bolton keeper Luke Hutchinson as the Tigers continued to dominate.
And they were unfortunate not to take the lead when Callum Jones’ goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Kacper Lopata after the Bolton defence had failed to deal with a free-kick into the box.
Elliot Bonds saw his shot deflected for a corner, from which Hutchinson made a good save to deny McKenzie, and McLoughlin was the next to go close to opening the scoring when heading over from another corner.
Hutchinson was called upon once again to keep out Jones' free-kick low to his right before Salam’s cross saw Balogh’s shot blocked with Hickey firing the loose ball over the bar.
Jones and McKenzie both had shots blocked by the Trotters defence and Matty Jacob exchanged passes with Balogh and advanced into the box only to see his effort deflected narrowly wide in what proved to be the final action of the first half.
City made a change during the interval with Balogh being replaced by Billy Chadwick and the substitute almost made an immediate impact but his superbly-struck shot was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
And it was from the resulting flag kick, that the deadlock was finally broken two minutes into the second half. Lewis Ritson’s initial header was blocked but the defender showed quick reactions to rifle the rebound into the roof of the net.
The visitors had a chance for an instant response but Callum King-Harmes and De’Marlio Brown-Sterling both had shots blocked, whilst at the other end Hutchinson comfortably held James Berry’s close-range header.
The Bolton keeper then made a great save to deny Chadwick as he slid in to meet Hickey’s low cross from the right.
McLoughlin was replaced by Lupano on the hour mark before Jacob doubled the Tigers' lead moments later. The left-back exchanged passes with Berry and, from the edge of the box, Jacob found the bottom corner with a precise low finish.
Berry then spotted Hutchinson off his line and attempted an audacious effort from the centre circle but the keeper scrambled back to make a comfortable save. Regan Riley seized on a misplaced pass in the Tigers' half but his low strike was easily held by David Robson in what was a rare involvement for the custodian.
Substitute Will Jarvis went close to increasing the lead within a couple of minutes of being introduced when he met McKenzie’s cross from the right but his close-range effort was somehow pushed away by Hutchinson, who followed that by holding Salam’s far post header.
Bonds curled a shot wide from the edge of the box and Chadwick was denied by another good save from Hutchinson before a third goal finally came three minutes from time. Jones’ corner found Bonds and he steered a low shot through a crowd and into the bottom corner.
And the scoring was completed in the second minute of added time. McKenzie's shot from Jarvis' pull-back was blocked and Salam was left with a simple tap in from a couple of yards out.
Hull City: David Robson, Robbie McKenzie, Matty Jacob, Jordan Hickey, Lewis Ritson, Sean McLoughlin (Danny Lupano 60), Ahmed Salam, Elliot Bonds, Norbert Balogh (Billy Chadwick 46), Callum Jones, James Berry (Will Jarvis 82).
Subs Not Used: Harvey Cartwright, Lucas Odunston.
Bolton Wanderers: Luke Hutchinson, Nathan Whalley, D’Neal Richards (Arash Ahmadi 79), Jordan Boon, Kacper Lopata, Joseph White, Callum King-Harmes, Regan Riley, De’Marlio Brown-Sterling, Markus Assarsson (Kwame Osigwe 77), Jay Fitzmartin (Max Conway 81).
Sub Not Used: Ryan Colven.