Bolton 0-1 Sheffield United: Cameron Carter-Vickers sends Blades to third
Last Updated: 12/09/17 11:00pm
Cameron Carter-Vickers earned his spurs on debut with Sheffield United's winner in their 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at bottom of the table Bolton.
The on-loan Tottenham youngster fired home after 33 minutes at the Macron Stadium as Chris Wilder's side completed a fourth successive league win. Carter-Vickers' first senior goal also ended a run of 10 away defeats, dating back 40 years, at their Lancashire hosts.
Phil Parkinson's Trotters have now lost five of their seven games since earning the second automatic promotion place behind the Blades last season and have failed to score in three successive outings.
Bolton beat the Blades twice at the Macron Stadium last season but the visitors have adapted much better to life in the second tier. Unable to shut out the opposition and goal shy at the opposite end has meant double trouble for the Trotters but they were more than a match for the Blades before the visitors took the lead 12 minutes from half-time.
Gary Madine, booed at every opportunity by United fans for his previous Wednesday connections and later yellow carded, fired a long range effort at Jamal Blackman.
And skipper Jem Karacan headed over before injury to Will Buckley saw Filipe Morais introduced as a 30th-minute substitute. Three minutes later United States Under-23 international Carter-Vickers was allowed the freedom of the penalty area to swivel and smash a right-foot shot high into the net for a first senior goal.
Bolton responded positively and Adam Armstrong's goal-bound shot deflected for a corner off Jake Wright's head. But Carter-Vickers should have doubled his and United's goal tally just before half-time. Instead, Ben Alnwick made a fine stop from the 19-year-old's drive from 12 yards out.
A tetchy game, played in high winds and driving rain, saw Josh Cullen join Bolton team-mate Morais in referee Stuart Attwell's notebook at the start of the second half.
United could have made the game safe after 56 minutes but Daniel Lafferty's effort from a tight angle was cleared off the line by David Wheater.
Wanderers enjoyed plenty of possession in the final half hour but relied heavily on set pieces to try and get back on level terms. They also introduced strikers, Adam Le Fondre and Aaron Wilbraham, but United comfortably held on to claim their latest three points. The Blades could even have added a second goal only for David Brooks to hit the crossbar in the final seconds.
Phil Parkinson: "We couldn't have given much more. We gave absolutely everything. The energy levels were great and there were some of the best individual performances we have had this season. I feel for the boys, I feel for myself and the supporters because we have lost another game.
"Maybe somewhere around the corner something is going to fall to us, someone is going to block to one of us and we are going to smash it into the back of the net. I am disappointed to lose the game but the lads gave everything. Everything we asked of the lads coming into the game, we got. I thought we were unlucky not to get something from the game."
Chris Wilder: "We are delighted with the result. It was a hard-fought game and the result could have gone either way, if I am honest. Bolton's start hasn't been great but the similarity from last year - us knowing a little bit about them and them knowing a little bit about us - brought the teams closer together in terms of performances.
"And because they have got proud people on their staff and proud players, they weren't going to let us come in and take the three points easily. We had to work extremely hard and defend for our lives at times. This, in my opinion, is our best result, not the best performance, from our season so far."