Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Leeds United

  • January 30, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's FA Cup journey ended at the fourth-round stage for the fourth year in succession, after they were beaten 2-1 by Leeds United at Macron Stadium.

Having fallen at the hands of Everton, Cardiff City and Liverpool in recent seasons, Leeds added their name to that list courtesy of goals inside the first half from Souleymane Doukara and Toumani Diagouraga.

Wanderers didn't register a shot on target until the 70th minute but set up a tense finish when Darren Pratley fired home with 10 minutes remaining, and they should have taken the tie to a replay but Gary Madine fired against the outside of the post from close range with an open goal at his mercy.

After a comfortable 3-1 victory over MK Dons last time out, Neil Lennon opted to name the same starting line-up but couldn't have imagined the complete contrast in performance, as his side were largely outplayed on their own patch in front of a record-setting away attendance of 6,630.

Despite their poor showing, it was the home side who created the first opportunity of the game, with Madine shooting straight into the arms of Marco Silvestri, while Pratley fired over the top moments later after getting on the end of a cutback from Liam Feeney.

Ben Amos was alert to keep out a routine curling effort from Lewis Cook, but he was majorly at fault moments later at the visitors took the lead.

After latching on to a through ball between Dorian Dervite and Josh Vela, Doukara's shot looked easy enough for Amos to deal with, but he flapped at the low strike and watched on as the ball nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

Madine should have levelled within three minutes of Wanderers falling behind, but he somehow volleyed over from inside the six-yard box, before Stuart Dallas found the stands at the other end after initially doing well to work himself space inside the area.

Mirco Antenucci, who netted in the league fixture between the clubs back in October, came close to repeating the feat midway through the half, only to be denied by a neat-post stop from Amos, before Dallas volleyed over the top after Antenucci had turned provider.

Leeds doubled their advantage six minutes before the break, though, latching on to a cutback from Antenucci before calmly slotting the ball past a stranded goalkeeper to make the game comfortable at 2-0 going into half-time.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Madine having a shot deflect behind after he got on the end of a flick from Rob Holding.

A pressing run from Feeney ended with him drilling a dangerous cross into the Leeds box shortly afterwards, although Madine didn't quite have the pace or desire to get on the end of it, while Scott Wootton shot into the away fans from the edge of the box at the other end.

A shaky Amos managed to push a long-range free-kick from Giuseppe Bellusci behind for a corner midway through the half, moments before Lennon made a double change - bringing Kaiyne Woolery and Jay Spearing on in place of Wellington Silva and Mark Davies, prompting boos from sections of the previously silent home support.

After Feeney had curled wide, Pratley looked set to bring Bolton back into the game with 13 minutes to play, only to see his goalbound volley blocked by a desperate piece of defending from Bellusci, but he had the ball in the net shortly afterwards as the Wanderers captain set up a tense finale.

Leeds failed to deal with a ball into the box and Pratley found space at the far post to control and smash into the roof of the net whilst on the turn.

After struggling to find a way through for the majority of the game, Bolton should have taken the tie to a replay inside the final five minutes after Silvestri parried a Pratley shot back into dangerous territory, but a stretching Madine somehow found the outside of the post when it had looked easier to guide the ball into the empty net.

Wanderers pushed men forward inside four minutes of added time, but Leeds retained possession well and ran down the clock to secure a place in the fifth round of the competition for only the second time in 13 years.

With cup football now over for the season, Bolton shift focus back to the Championship when they travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday. Following Charlton Athletic's 4-1 win at Rotherham United on Saturday, the Trotters will enter that game four points adrift at the foot of the table and five from safety with a game in hand on their rivals.

Bolton Wanderers: Amos, Vela, Holding, Dervite, Moxey, Trotter, Davies (Spearing 70), Feeney, Pratley, Silva (Woolery 70), Madine
Subs Not Used: Rachubka, Osede, Dobbie, Twardzik, Walker
Booked: Vela
Goals: Pratley 80

Leeds United: Silvestri, Taylor, Bamba (Coyle 89), Bellusci, Wootton, Cook (Adeyemi 90+1), Bridcutt, Diagouraga, Dallas, Antenucci (Carayol 86), Doukara
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Erwin, Sloth, Peacock-Farrell
Booked: Diagouraga
Goals: Doukara 8, Diagouraga 39

Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 17,336

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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