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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

Goals, Isgrove back, Sadlier quality - Four ups from Bolton Wanderers' win over Leeds United U21s

Bolton Wanderers rediscovered their goalscoring touch as they progressed to the last 32 of the Papa Johns Trophy with a 3-0 win over Leeds United's under-21s.

Ian Evatt made eight changes from the side which drew against Barnsley over the weekend. It was one of the three players he kept faith in, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, who put the Whites ahead in the first half as he turned home a cross from the returning Lloyd Isgrove.

Wanderers doubled their lead after the break when Amadou Bakayoko fired home from close range following Conor Bradley's shot being saved by Joel Robles. Kieran Sadlier added a third before full-time to put the victory beyond doubt.

READ MORE: Ian Evatt on Bolton's win over Leeds United, Bodvarsson & Sheehan injuries, Isgrove return & John susbtitution

Here we analyse the positives from a solid victory for the Whites as three points and a place in the next round of the competition was secured.


Back in the goalscoring groove

Wanderers had gone three games without scoring a goal and there had been a mini goal drought at Wanderers. Though the back of the net had not bulged since the win at the start of the month versus Lincoln City, it was a spell which was always going to end.

And it ended with a touch of quality as a clinical finish from Bodvarsson put the Whites ahead. It was added to with a poacher's finish by Bakayoko after the break, rewarded for being the quickest to react to Bradley's shot being parried.

Sadlier added a third with a real touch of quality before full-time. It was pleasing to see Wanderers back scoring goals and the obviously the confidence it brings, but also crucially it was the forward players who managed it.

Qualification to the next round

Wanderers needed a result to progress to the next round of the competition. Despite being the highest ranked side in their group, Wanderers had not got qualification done and dusted until last night.

There is still a game to go in the group - between Leeds' U21s and Crewe Alex - to see which side will join them in the last 32. But Wanderers ultimately secured qualification comfortably as their quality really came to the fore in the second half.

In prize money so far, Wanderers have claimed some £45,000 so far, thanks to their participation, two wins and a draw in the competition. It is all finance which helps and is a welcome return.

Isgrove promising and Sheehan with another appearance

Isgrove made his first start since last November in the clash last night. Having made a substitute appearance in the last group game versus Tranmere, the winger looked positive and lively at right wing-back.

He notched an assist for Bodvarsson's opening goal and caught the eye with his runs down the right flank. With Conor Bradley suspended this weekend, he will come into the reckoning for the vacancy there against Accrington Stanley.

Josh Sheehan also appeared sharp during his showing in the first half. He was taken off with a back spasm at half-time, but should be fine to feature this weekend, should Ian Evatt call upon him.

Sadlier shows quality with substitute showing

Starts have been at a premium for Sadlier this season as he finds himself struggling for game time, especially in the league for Wanderers. All of his starts have come in the cup competitions so far.

He came off the bench last night and played as one of the two strikers, alongside Bakayoko. He looked sharp in that position and scored late on with a tidy finish to maintain his record of scoring in every Papa Johns Trophy group game.

It was a different role for Sadlier but one he looked comfortable in and one where he was able to show his quality. It is another position he could put himself forward for in a bid to make the team more regualrly.

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