Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Bolton Wanderers - AET (Pens 4-2)

  • August 27, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton are out of the Capital One Cup after losing on penalties at Tranmere Rovers, following a 1-1 draw at Prenton Park.

On a night where two old rivals renewed their rivalry with a first competitive meeting in four years, the League One strugglers pulled off an unlikely upset as Wanderers' poor start to the new season continued.

With the sides looking set to go in goalless at the break, Cole Stockton capitalised on a mistake from Zat Knight and curled the ball beyond a stranded Andy Lonergan in first-half stoppage time. Jermaine Beckford levelled midway through the second period, before Tom Eaves had a shot cleared off the line, and a late goal disallowed for offisde, as the game ended all square.

Eaves had another strike ruled out in extra-time, but the teams couldn't be separated after 120 minutes of football. The tie went to penalties and after Max Power had scored Tranmere's opener, Andre Moritz saw his effort saved by Rovers goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams. Both sides scored their next two rounds and after James Rowe put the hosts 4-2 up, Bolton were relying on Alex Baptiste to keep them in the game. The former Blackpool defender hit the target but Fon Williams was the hero, saving the spot-kick, as Tranmere advance into the next round.

Dougie Freedman made eight changes to the side that lost 1-0 at home to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, with David Wheater, Alex Baptiste and Medo Kamara the only ones to keep their places. Wanderers were dealt a blow prior to kick-off though, as Wheater appeared to pick up a knee injury and was taken down the tunnel. Zat Knight took his place, with Oscar Threlkeld replacing him on the bench.

The early exchanges passed by without much incident, with an early header from Akpa Akpro the best either side had to offer.

The first real chance of the game arrived with 20 minutes played and it fell the way of the visitors. Tyrone Mears did well down the right-hand side, before crossing into the middle for Eaves. The former Oldham Athletic forward struck the ball on the volley, only to see it deflect behind for a corner.

After scoring in the previous round at Shrewsbury Town, Robert Hall was looking for a repeat performance. Having found space inside the Tranmere box, the ball fell kindly for Hall but he could only scuff a shot wide of the target.

The first half was a disappointing affair for both sides, although it would be fair to say the hosts shaded the game in possession. They looked set to end the opening 45 minutes goalless, but the deadlock was broken with the final kick of the half. A mistake from Knight presented Stockton with a clear sight of goal, and he made no mistake in curling the ball beyond Lonergan to send the League One side in with a one-goal advantage at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period. Just as it did in the first half, the first chance of the second period fell the way of the hosts' Akpa Akpro. After heading over the bar earlier in the game, he failed to hit the target again. This time, firing over the top from a narrow angle.

Hall saw a shot charged down shortly afterwards, before Matt Mills stopped a likely second Tranmere goal with a superb block to deny Chris Atkinson.

Bolton came close to levelling the scores on the hour mark, but things just weren't going their way. Fon Williams did well to deny Baptiste from a corner, before making a stunning save to stop Eaves from slotting home a close-range rebound.

Freedman reacted by bringing Beckford on for the ineffective Josh Vela, before Moritz replaced Sanmi Odelusi moments later. The changes had an instant impact, as a weighted ball from Moritz put Beckford through on goal. The former Leeds United forward was one-on-one with Fon Williams and calmly slotted the ball into the net for the equaliser, and his first goal for the club.

That goal seemed to spark Bolton into life and Beckford came close to scoring again with 20 minutes to go, but his shot was deflected just wide of the post. Stockton had a shot blocked by Mears, before Eaves shot inches wide at the other end.

Beckford smashed a volley just over the top as the game entered the final 10 minutes, before controversy hit Prenton Park. From a seemingly impossible angle, Eaves lobbed the ball over Fon Williams and appeared to have put the visitors ahead. The ball was cleared by a Rovers defender and despite appeals from the visiting supporters, the referee's assistant ruled the ball hadn't crossed the line.

If he wasn't already cursing his luck, Eaves was left to bemoan another decision just 60 seconds later. After doing well to turn a wayward strike from Hall into the net, his celebrations were cut short as he was adjudged to have been standing in an offside position. That would be the final meaningful attempt of the game, with extra-time required to separate the two sides.

Bolton took control of possession inside the added 30 minutes, but still couldn't find a way through the Tranmere defence. Beckford was denied twice - first by Fon Williams, then by a block from Ian Goodison - before a mix-up involving Baptiste, Knight and Lonergan almost gifted the hosts a goal in first-half stoppage time.

Akpa Akpro curled a shot narrowly wide as Tranmere hit Bolton on the break in the early stages of the second added period, before Atkinson also struck wide with a shot from distance.

Having had a shot cleared off the line and another disallowed for offside inside the original 90 minutes, Eaves had the ball in the net again with eight minutes left to play. However, his celebrations were once again cut shot as the referee's assistant ruled him to have been offside from a Moritz through-ball as the game went to penalties.

Tranmere won the toss and elected to take the spot-kicks in front of their home supporters. Max Power stepped up to take the first penalty and successfully beat Lonergan to put Rovers ahead. Moritz was first up for Bolton, but his checked approach failed to fool Fon Williams - who denied the former Crystal Palace man.

Akpa Akpro and Evan Horwood scored with Tranmere's next two attempts, while Beckford and Matt Mills were on target for Wanderers. Rowe put the hosts 4-2 up, meaning all the pressure was on Baptiste. The Trotters defender struck his shot well, but failed to beat Fon Williams as Ronnie Moore's side advanced into the third round of the competition.

Defeat means Bolton have won just one of their opening six games to the new season, and they have been eliminated by lower league opposition at the second round stage of the League Cup in back-to-back seasons. Freedman's side return to action on Saturday afternoon, when they face Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Horwood, Koumas (Kirby 74), Atkinson (Bell-Baggie 112), Power, Rowe, Akpa Akpro, Stockton
Subs Not Used: Mooney, Maher
Goals: Stockton 45+1

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Mears, Mills, Knight, Baptiste, Odelusi (Moritz 64), Kamara, Vela (Beckford 59), Hall (Youngs 96), Pratley, Eaves
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Spearing, Threlkeld, Bolger
Goals: Beckford 65

Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 3,379

Penalty Shoot-Out
Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Bolton Wanderers - Max Power scores (Tranmere)
Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Bolton Wanderers - Andre Moritz misses (Bolton)
Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Bolton Wanderers - Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro scores (Tranmere)
Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Bolton Wanderers - Jermaine Beckford scores (Bolton)
Tranmere Rovers 3-1 Bolton Wanderers - Evan Horwood scores (Tranmere)
Tranmere Rovers 3-2 Bolton Wanderers - Matt Mills scores (Bolton)
Tranmere Rovers 4-2 Bolton Wanderers - James Rowe scores (Tranmere)
Tranmere Rovers 4-2 Bolton Wanderers - Alex Baptiste misses (Bolton)

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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