Bolton Wanderers Under-21s 0, Norwich City Under-21s 1

Bolton had a number of chances to level in the second half but were thwarted by John Ruddy.

Bolton had a number of chances to level in the second half but were thwarted by John Ruddy. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy kept a clean sheet in the second game of his comeback from injury as the club's Under-21 side recorded a hard-fought victory at the County Ground.

Ruddy, who returned to action as an over-age player in another under-21 fixture last Monday, played the full 90 minutes with no reported problems and made a number of fine stops to keep Bolton out. Having proved his fitness after more than four months on the sidelines with a thigh injury, he will now be looking to return to Chris Hughton's first team squad.

Jamar Loza's goal earned Scott Marshall's side the points. The centre forward hit the decisive strike shortly before half-time and despite Bolton enjoying a number of chances to level in the second half, they were ultimately thwarted by the experienced Ruddy.

The Canaries should have taken the lead with four minutes gone after Loza pulled the ball back for the advancing Michael Clunan, but he scuffed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Bolton then took control for the remainder of the half, only for the Canaries to edge in front.

Wanderers looked certain to equalise in the 51st minute after McKee played the ball down the line for Maher who powered into the area, but the full-back's shot flashed across the face of goal.

Clough looked set to add to his impressive goal scoring record this season on the hour mark as he was played through by Sampson, but Ruddy did well to tip the youngster's strike away for a corner kick.

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The chance appeared to rejuvenate Bolton, with Clough again forcing the Norwich keeper into a smart save from close range.With Bolton virtually camped in Norwich's half, Clough looked to have brought his side level in the 77th minute as he unleashed a curling effort from just outside the area, but Ruddy pulled off yet another impressive save to keep the striker at bay.

• Norwich City: Ruddy, Carroll, McNeil, Nkumu, Sheriff, Gafaiti, Hodd, Clunan, Loza, Browne, Kelly Subs not used: Heath, Steer, St Louis, Efete.

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