Accrington Stanley 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 10, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/00b5e

Bolton's hopes of a Wembley final next April are over after they were dumped out of the Leasing.com Trophy at the second-round stage.

After squeezing out of a group which also consisted of Bradford City, Manchester City U21 and Rochdale, Wanderers knew victory at Accrington Stanley would set up a third-round trip to Fleetwood Town in January - the quarter-final stage in the competition's regional format.

That dream came to an end at the Wham Stadium, however, as strikes in each half from Offrande Zanzala and substitute Colby Bishop saw John Coleman's side progress.

Having secured a last-gap 2-2 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and potentially thinking of this weekend's upcoming clash at Peterborough United, Bolton boss Keith Hill made four changes to his side as James Weir, Dennis Politic, Josh Earl and Adam Senior came in for Jake Wright, Adam Chicksen, Joe Dodoo and Daryl Murphy - all of whom took up places amongst the substitutes.

With heavy rain and hail affecting the flow of both teams inside the early stages, it came as no surprise that the first opportunity of the evening didn't arrive until the 8th minute as Politic sent a 25-yard free-kick narrowly wide after Chris O'Grady had been fouled.

The deadlock was broken two minutes later and it was Stanley who got the advantage, with Zanzala latching on to a poor goal-kick from Matthews before firing home at the second attempt after his initial effort had been blocked.

Matthews was looking to make amends for his earlier error and did well to tip over a strike from Jerome Opoku on 19 minutes, shortly before play was halted following a heavy collision between Zanzala and Wanderers defender Yoan Zouma.

Both players received treatment in the immediate aftermath but were declared fit to continue, despite the appearance of a stretcher.

O'Grady poked wide on the turn as Bolton looked to draw level on 27 minutes, shortly before former Trotters midfielder Joe Pritchard blasted over from 30 yards at the other end as he looked to extend the hosts' lead.

Pritchard fired over again on the half-hour after a free-kick had been awarded against Zouma, before Zanzala was denied a second of the evening when his goalbound shot deflected off the body of Earl.

Politic had the final effort of the half, putting his shot just wide after Weir had broken away from his marker down the right-hand side.

Both managers made changes as the players returned for the second period, with Verlinden and Chicksen on for Weir and Zouma for Bolton, while Bishop replaced Zanzala in the Stanley attack.

Verlinden's introduction was felt almost immediately, with Josef Bursik called into action for the first time within five minutes of the restart, before he rose to his feet to block a follow-up from Ronan Darcy.

Matthews' first save after the restart came on 51 minutes, with Sam Finley forcing the goalkeeper to tip over a shot from 25 yards, moments before Seamus Conneely's strike was comfortably gathered by the stopper.

Verlinden drilled over the top from the next attack, before Pritchard dragged an attempt wide against his former club as the clock ticked beyond the hour.

Bolton saw penalty appeals turned down when the ball struck a hand inside the Accrington box with 63 minutes played, with referee Sebastian Stockbridge having already blown his whistle for a foul by Earl in the build-up.

Phil Edwards should have made it two midway through the half, somehow putting his shot wide from inside the six-yard box, before the visitors had two golden opportunities to get back on level terms.

Firstly, Earl's header from a Verlinden corner seemed goalbound but for the intervention of a defender, before Josh Emmanuel lashed a shot across the face of goal after coming short to meet a corner from Darcy.

Aji Alese fired wide as the game entered the final 10 minutes, but the game was over with five minutes to play as Bishop tapped into an empty net after a mazy run from Clark ended with a shot that Matthews could only parry into the path of the Stanley substitute.

Two minutes of stoppage time passed by without incident, as the home side booked their passage into the last eight of the Northern Section of the Leasing.com Trophy.

For Bolton, attention now solely rests on League One survival between now and May - starting with a trip to promotion-chasing Peterborough United on Saturday.

Accrington Stanley: Bursik, Edwards, Opoku, Sykes, Alese, Conneely, Clark, Finley (Sherif 81), Pritchard (Carvalho 79), Charles, Zanzala (Bishop 45)
Subs Not Used: Savin, Hughes, Johnson, Diallo
Goals: Zanzala 10, Bishop 85

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Lowe, Earl, Zouma (Chicksen 45), Emmanuel, Senior, Graham, Weir (Verlinden 45), Darcy, Politic, O'Grady (Dodoo 69)
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Boon, Wright, D Murphy
Booked: Graham

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 930

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 26 27
20 Milton Keynes Dons 27 25
21 Tranmere Rovers 25 22
22 Southend United 26 13
23 Bolton Wanderers 24 7
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