Rochdale 1-1 Bolton Wanderers (Pens: 5-3)

  • October 01, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/4622c

The Leasing.com Trophy is designed to provide a platform for players of the future, but it was Bolton's old boys who came back to haunt their former club.

Having taken a first-half lead courtesy of Ali Crawford's first goal in Wanderers colours, Keith Hill's side were pegged back just before the hour when Aaron Wilbraham headed an equaliser against his one-time employers.

90 minutes came to an end with the score at 1-1, meaning both sides claimed a point, but it was Dale who claimed a bonus point with a 5-3 victory on penalties - with Adam Chicksen seeing his spot-kick saved by ex-Trotters goalkeeper Jay Lynch.

Wanderers lined up with two changes to the team that began at Portsmouth on Saturday, as Dennis Politic and Sonny Graham returned at the expense of Jack Hobbs and Daryl Murphy. With a lack of central defensive options available for selection, captain Liam Bridcutt partnered Yoan Zouma at the back.

That experiment almost began in disastrous circumstances as, with less than two minutes played, a routine ball from Bridcutt back to Remi Matthews wrong-footed the goalkeeper, who recovered in just enough time to clear to safety.

The visitors were awarded a free-kick five minutes later after a collision between Will Buckley and Stephen Dooley, which would ultimately lead to the Rochdale man being forced off through injury.

From the free-kick that followed, Crawford's attempt from 25 yards was tipped onto the post by former Trotters stopper Lynch.

Thibaud Verlinden received possession from Graham before firing wide moments later, while Chicksen brought Lynch into action with an effort from range at the end of a move which had also involved Bridcutt and Politic.

Jimmy Ryan put his body on the line to deny Politic midway through the half, while Wilbraham forced Matthews into his first save of the evening with a downward header from a Matty Gillam cross.

Gillam volleyed over from a Rhys Norrington-Davies free-kick with less than 10 minutes of the half remaining, shortly before Lewis Bradley cleared the crossbar from the edge of the box following a cutback from Fabio Tavares.

Verlinden should have broken the deadlock in the final minute of the regulation 45, only to head over Josh Emmanuel's cross from close range, but the ball was in the net in stoppage time as Wanderers took a deserved lead.

Having set his sights earlier in the game, Crawford once again stood over a free-kick from 30 yards and this time found the top corner of Lynch's net to send the visitors in at the break with a 1-0 advantage.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the second period, which started with Wanderers on top as Crawford shot wide following a centre from Chicksen.

Lynch made two routine saves to deny Politic and Graham in the immediate aftermath, before Rochdale got back on level terms as Wilbraham headed past Matthews to make it 1-1.

Wilbraham was denied a second by an outstanding Matthews save midway through the half, shortly before Emmanuel rushed back to clear off the line after Bradley had found a way past the goalkeeper.

Politic and Tavares brought 'keepers in action at either end, while the latter fired narrowly over the top as the clock approached the final five minutes.

Crawford headed agonisingly wide after connecting with an Emmanuel cross moments later, while the final act of the 90 minutes saw Verlinden have a goal ruled out following a foul by Buckley in the build up.

Both sides took a point following the 1-1 draw, but it was Dale who received an additional point by virtue of a 5-3 victory on penalties.

Calvin Andrew, Gillam and Aaron Morley netted the first three strikes for the hosts, while Crawford, Politic and Verlinden were on target for Wanderers. After Norrington-Davies had made it 4-3 to Rochdale, Chicksen's effort was saved by Lynch, allowing Jimmy Keohane to secure the win by firing past Matthews.

Bolton end the evening occupying 2nd place in Group F of the competition's Northern Section. With Bradford City and Rochdale level on points behind them, Wanderers must avoid defeat against the Citizens in their final game to have any chance of progression, while goal difference could yet come into effect.

Rochdale: Lynch, Matheson, Gillam, Keohane, Norrington-Davies, Morley, Bradley (Hopper 90), Ryan, Dooley (Andrew 11), Wilbraham (Baah 82), Tavares
Subs Not Used: Sanchez, Brierley, Clarkson, Thomas
Booked: Wilbraham
Goals: Wilbraham 57

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Bridcutt, Zouma, Emmanuel, Graham (Hobbs 73), Lowe, Crawford, Verlinden, Politic, Buckley
Subs Not Used: Alexander, L Murphy, Weir, Boon, Senior, King-Harmes
Booked: Emmanuel
Goals: Crawford 45+2

Referee: Leigh Doughty
Attendance: 1,412

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Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Milton Keynes Dons 12 12
20 Accrington Stanley 12 11
21 AFC Wimbledon 13 9
22 Southend United 12 4
23 Bolton Wanderers 10 -8
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34.62% Gary O'Neil
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