Paul Pogba scored a richly-deserved winner as United moved to the top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League North with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Bolton.
The hosts shrugged off the loss of Larnell Cole to a hamstring injury to take a first-half lead when Pogba's wonderful free-kick was converted by Reece Brown. Tope Obadeyi levelled with a bolt out of the blue but pressure told in the end with Pogba heading his third of the season with only six minutes left to take his side above Sunderland in the table.
The Reds raced out of the blocks with Jay Lynch having to clear a Pogba through ball to Jesse Lingard and then saving superbly to thwart Davide Petrucci following exquisite build-up play by Will Keane. After Cole limped off, Frederic Veseli making his debut as the replacement, Petrucci couldn't convert Ritchie De Laet's driven cross and Will Keane spurned a glorious chance when Lynch pushed out a fierce Pogba drive. Pogba shook off any after-effects from a crude foul by Paul Robinson, who was booked for the challenge, with a quite superb free-kick that invited Brown to dab in a simple finish for the opener.
Obadeyi saw an effort blocked by a ruck of players during a goalmouth scramble at the end of the half but United continued to press after the interval. Will Keane was kept out again by Lynch with Petrucci having penalty appeals waved away from the rebound before Keane forced another stop out of the visiting keeper following more neat approach work by the striker.
Will Keane then scooped wastefully wide after being released by Lingard and was punished moments later. Veseli had already made a goal-saving challenge on Tom Eaves but he could little to get in the way of Obadeyi's unerring shot that flew past Sam Johnstone and in off the far post. After Lynch again got the better of his personal duel with Will Keane, Lingard was guilty of a poor miss when screwing off target despite being left in the clear by