Cheltenham Town 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • November 08, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's seven-match winning run is over, as they departed the Checkatrade Trophy with a 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town.

After defeat to Everton U23 and victory over Blackpool earlier in the competition, Wanderers knew a three-point haul would secure their place in the knockout round-of-32.

A goalless draw had looked set to be on the cards at the LCI Rail Stadium, with a penalty shootout destined to decide the victors, but Amari Morgan-Smith slotted home from the spot in the final minute after he had been fouled by Ben Alnwick, seeing Cheltenham through as group winners and condemning Wanderers to bottom spot.

Phil Parkinson made six changes to the Bolton side that started against Grimsby Town on Saturday, as Alnwick, Dean Moxey, Lewis Buxton, Josh Vela, James Henry and Keshi Anderson all returned to the side.

Wanderers, knowing victory was required in order to secure their progression, pushed forward from the off and could have been ahead inside the opening 60 seconds, but for a half-volley from Lawrie Wilson flying wide of the post.

The visitors were back on the attack just seconds later, only for Henry's teasing cross just falling too far in front of a stretching Anderson.

After Alnwick had tipped a shot from Jordan Cranston behind, Cheltenham were unfortunate not to take the lead from the resulting corner. Harry Pell got on the end of a knockdown from Robert Dickie, but Chris Taylor was well positioned to clear the ball off the line.

Taylor was soon involved at the other end, crouching to meet Buxton's ball into the box with a diving header, but Calum Kitscha made a comfortable save at his near post.

The winger had another effort charged down at the midway point of the half, before a cross-cum-shot from Jamie Proctor was cleared as Kitscha scrambled across his line.

A last ditch challenge from Buxton denied Billy Waters a clear run on goal as the half began to draw to a close, while the final act before the break fell the way of the visitors, as Taylor's effort from the edge of the box was cleared off the line to ensure the scores remained level.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second period, which began with Anderson heading over at the far post after he had got on the end of a deep cross from Henry.

Cheltenham were soon on the attack, though, and came close to breaking the deadlock themselves when Jordan Cranston drilled narrowly wide of Alnwick's post from 25 yards.

Alnwick was on hand to keep the game scoreless once again on the hour, this time denying James Dayton at his near post, shortly before Proctor forced Kitscha into a fine save with a powerful drive at the end of a neat move which also involved Anderson.

Henry and Proctor both saw further opportunities come and go as Bolton began to grow frustrated in front of goal, while Anderson volleyed over as the clock ticked into the final 20 minutes.

Appeals for a penalty went unheard by referee Kevin Friend as Henry was bundled to the ground, before Parkinson made a triple substitution in hope of injecting some fresh legs into his tiring side.

On came Zach Clough and Sammy Ameobi for Henry and Taylor, while Max Clayton made his first appearance in 12 months as he replaced Anderson.

Cheltenham also made changes, with Dan Holman and Morgan-Smith taking the places of Waters and Danny Wright.

It was one of those substitutes who would go on to be the eventual match-winner, as Morgan-Smith went to ground under a challenge from Alnwick and referee Friend pointed to the penalty spot.

Morgan-Smith took responsibility for the resulting spot-kick and made no mistake in firing home from 12 yards to break the deadlock and seal victory for the League Two side.

Defeat at the LCI Rail Stadium brings an end to Bolton's journey in the Checkatrade Trophy and means their attention must now return to league action. Next up is a trip to Peterborough United, whom they tackle at lunchtime on Sunday.

Cheltenham Town: Kitscha, Parslow, Downes, O'Shaughnessy, Dickie, Munns, Pell, Dayton, Cranston, Wright (Morgan-Smith 79), Waters (Holman 79)
Subs Not Used: Barthram, Arthur, Cooper, Lymn, Whitehead
Booked: Pell
Goals: Morgan-Smith 90(pen)

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Moxey, Wheater, Wilson, Buxton, Vela, Trotter, C Taylor (Ameobi 79), Henry (Clough 79), Anderson (Clayton 79), Proctor
Subs Not Used: Turner, Dervite, A Taylor, Perry
Booked: Alnwick

Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 1,038

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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