Young Lions unbeaten run comes to an end
A young Millwall U21s side slipped to their first defeat in four games as Bolton edged to a 2-0 Professional Development League 2 win at the County Ground on Monday night.
Justin Skinner's Lions gave a good account of themselves, but a strong Bolton team including the likes of Liam Trotter and David Wheater, bagged two first-half goals to secure the points.
Max Clayton, making his first appearance for nine months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in December 2014, got the hosts off to a flying start when he calmly lobbed Lions keeper Harry Girling to fire the Whites ahead with less than two minutes on the clock.
George Newell nearly doubled Bolton's lead soon after, but a timely intervention by a Millwall defender averted the danger as he stretched to reach Jordan Lussey's free-kick at the back post.
Newll drew a fine save from Girling and then fired narrowly off target as the home side threatened, but they did not have it all their own way and Millwall started to create chances of their own.
Bolton keeper Ross Fitzsimons produced a fine save midway through the first half diving full-stretch to tip a powerful long-range strike away and moments later Noah Chesmain raced into the area, only to drag his shot wide.
At the other end Girling kept Millwall in the game, producing a stunning save to claw out Newell's bullet header from a Francesco Pisano cross.
Former Lion Trotter was next to go close for the Whites, powering through midfield before firing straight at Girling.
Newell twice more went close with headers from Lussey deliveries but Bolton doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, when Girling was unable to cleanly gather Clayton’s powerful strike from the edge of the area and Jamie Thomas rolled the loose ball into an empty net.
Girling denied the home side a third goal early in the second-half, diving low to keep out Channing Campbell-Young's shot.
Mahlon Romeo had Millwall’s best chance of the half, but his stinging volley following a corner flew over the bar.
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That was about the closest The Lions came to reducing the arrears and despite creating a couple of half-chances, Bolton's lead was never really troubled.