Bolton Wanderers 8-1 Manchester United U21

  • September 26, 2023 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL:

Bolton scored eight goals for the first time in 40 years as they beat Manchester United U21 to book their place in the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy.

Not since September 1983 had Wanderers won in such convincing style, when Tony Caldwell hit five in an 8-1 demolition of Walsall - a scoreline Ian Evatt's side matched on Tuesday, albeit in completely different circumstances.

Dan Nlundulu, a brace from Josh Sheehan, and a tap-in from Gethin Jones had the Trotters cruising at 4-0 going into the interval, after which another from Nlundulu, followed by further strikes from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Nelson Khumbeni and Luke Matheson sealed the win.

It proved to be the first time the Whites had registered six different goalscorers in the same game - excluding own-goals - since March 1997 when Gudni Bergsson (2), Jamie Pollock, Per Frandsen, Nathan Blake, John McGinlay and Alan Thompson all struck in a 7-0 thrashing of Swindon Town at Burnden Park.

Omari Forson gave United a modicum of celebration midway through the second period, when he found the net to make the score 6-1 at that particular time.

Despite playing 45 minutes with 10 men in a 1-1 draw with Peterborough United this past Saturday, Evatt made just four changes for the visit of the Red Devils as Eoin Toal, Aaron Morley, Bodvarsson and Nlundulu all started.

Jones and George Thomason, both of whom picked up suspensions in that game against Posh, were included as they will not be involved in the weekend trip to Port Vale.

Bolton took 19 minutes to break the deadlock, doing so after Sheehan broke free down the right-hand side and cut back for Nlundulu, who made no mistake in firing low beyond Radek Vitek from roundabout the penalty spot.

That lead was doubled three minutes later as Sheehan this time got himself on the scoresheet, playing a neat one-two with Bodvarsson on the edge of the box before giving Vitek the eyes and slotting into the bottom corner.

The Wales international got his second of the evening seven minutes before the break as Thomason pounced on a flap from Vitek and played the ball back to Sheehan, who picked out the top corner as a desperate goalkeeper attempted to scramble back onto his line.

Jones made it four from the next attack, capitalising on a dummy from Bodvarsson fire home Morley's low cross from close range.

Leading 4-0 at the half-time break, Wanderers added to their advantage inside three minutes of the restart as Jones pressed forward down the right-hand side and crossed for Nlundulu, who powered a header past Vitek at his near post to make it five.

Bodvarsson made it six with his first goal of the season on 64 minutes, latching on to a through ball from Will Forrester before finding the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Forson pulled one back for United midway through the half, finding space beyond a committed Forrester to shoot low across Nathan Baxter and make it 6-1.

There was still time for more, though, and it was the home support who were back on their feet on 74 minutes as youngsters Matheson and Khumbeni combined for the latter to side-foot a beauty into the top corner.

Not to be denied his own moment of glory, Matheson would then get in on the action with the final goal of the evening, staying onside to get on the end of a pass from Thomason before picking out the corner to cap a memorable 8-1 victory for Evatt's side.

The win means Bolton progress through to the knockout stage with a game to spare, which will be away at Stockport County on November 14.

Next up in league competition is Saturday's trip to Port Vale, where Wanderers will be looking to secure a first win in three, since their 2-1 success over Derby County back on September 2.

Bolton Wanderers: Baxter, Iredale (Matheson 67), Toal, Forrester, Williams (Inwood 77), Morley, Thomason, Jones, Sheehan (Khumbeni 68), Nlundulu, Bodvarsson (Jerome 65)
Subs Not Used: Hutchinson, Halford, Adeboyejo
Goals: Nlundulu 19,48, Sheehan 22,38, Jones 41, Bodvarsson 64, Khumbeni 74, Matheson 84

Manchester United U21: Vitek, Bennett (Murray 45), Aljofree, Kambwala, Forson, Shoretire, Mejia (Nolan 45), Oyedele, Williams (McAllister 78), Scanlon (Wheatley 65), Hugill
Subs Not Used: Harrison, Kingdon
Booked: Shoretire
Goals: Forson 67

Referee: Scott Jackson
Attendance: 3,007

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 18 39
2 Portsmouth 18 39
3 Oxford United 18 36
4 Stevenage 20 36
5 Peterborough United 19 35
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2022/23 Player of the Year?
25.9% Conor Bradley
22.3% James Trafford
20.09% Dion Charles
10.05% Kyle Dempsey
6.82% Aaron Morley
6.45% Ricardo Almeida Santos
3.5% George Johnston
3.32% Eoin Toal
1.01% Kieran Lee
0.55% Gethin Jones