Bolton Wanderers 0-5 Stoke City

  • April 17, 2011 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's dream of FA Cup success came to a crashing end as they fell to a heavy 5-0 defeat against Stoke City in their semi-final at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Kenwyne Jones had Tony Pulis' side three goals up at the break, before a second half brace from former Wanderers striker Jonathan Walters completed the rout.

The result will mean the Potters will play in their first ever FA Cup final next month, when they will return to the national stadium to face Manchester City. It also means that Stoke will almost certainly be playing European football next season.

Despite the battering they received on the day, Bolton actually began the game strongly and Gary Cahill came closest to opening the scoring on seven minutes, sending a half-volley over the crossbar from the edge of the area after Stoke had failed to clear a corner.

Moments later, a Martin Petrov free-kick was only half cleared by the Stoke defence and Fabrice Muamba teed the ball up for Johan Elmander, whose shot from 30-yards rolled straight into the hands of Thomas Sorensen in goal.

At the other end, Jones got the better of Zat Knight before volleying over the bar, just a minute before the Potters opened the scoring - 11 minutes in.

Following on from a poor ball across his own box from Paul Robinson, Etherington picked up the loose ball and fired it beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen's bottom left-hand corner to send the red half of the stadium into raptures.

Bolton soon found themselves two goals down, this time courtesy of a mistake from the usually reliable Gary Cahill.

The England defender failed to deal with a high ball from Andy Wilkinson and it fell invitingly for Huth, who sent a 25-yard volley into the same bottom corner of Jaaskelainen's goal.

Owen Coyle was shouting instructions from the touchline in a bid to get his Trotters side going, but with 30 minutes on the clock, they found themselves three-down and left to wonder just how bad the final result could be.

After dispossessing Petrov deep inside his own half, Jermaine Pennant was allowed to run unchallenged to the edge of the Bolton box, before feeding a neat ball through to Jones who stroked the ball beyond Jaaskelainen from close range.

Jaaskelainen did keep out a goalbound effort from Walters as the first half drew to a close, with mixed emotions from both sets of supporters echoing around the ground at the half time whistle.

In a bid to try and salvage something from the game, Bolton made two changes at the break, with Mark Davies and Matt Taylor coming on for the ineffective Petrov and Ivan Klasnic.

Ten minutes passed without incident after the restart, before Mark Davies went on a mazy run from midfield, only to shoot wide from the edge of the box as he lost his balance.

Jones sent a header straight at Jaaskelainen on the hour after Wanderers had failed to clear a corner, before having a shot blocked by Cahill just a minute later.

He then went on to claim the miss of the game on 66 minutes. After Jaaskelainen had done well to block a shot from Walters, the former Wanderer crossed the ball back for Jones, who somehow directed an effort wide from just six yards.

Stoke were running riot though and they were back inside the Bolton box just a minute later. This time, though, they did make it count as they extended their lead in front of their own supporters.

Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Walters was allowed to turn before unleashing a low 25-yard strike into past Jaaskelainen and into the bottom corner once again, prompting a mass exodus in the Bolton end.

Bolton won a free-kick just outside the area on 71 minutes, but typical of their day, Taylor hit it straight into the wall and the danger came to nothing.

Walters then added his second, and Stoke's fifth, with nine minutes remaining, reacting smartly to a scuffed shot from Wilkinson and sending the ball past Jaaskelainen via the knee of Cahill.

Taylor tried a speculative 30-yard strike in stoppage time, but it wasn't to be his or Bolton's day as it landed in the stands and referee Howard Webb blew for full-time, signalling the end of Bolton's FA Cup journey.

There are sure to be big questions asked of the performance, but Bolton must bounce back as they return to Premier League action when they host Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium next Sunday.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Elmander, Muamba (Rodrigo 73), Chung-Yong, Petrov (M Davies 46), Klasnic (Taylor 46), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Cohen, Alonso, Wheater
Booked: Robinson, Cahill

Stoke City: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Pennant (Whitehead 78), Delap, Whelan, Etherington (Pugh 87), Walters, Jones (Fuller 84)
Subs Not Used: Nash, Diao, Carew, Faye
Goals: Etherington 11, Huth 17, Jones 30, Walters 68,81

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 75,064

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 19 17
20 Tranmere Rovers 18 17
21 Milton Keynes Dons 19 14
22 Southend United 20 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 16 2
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