Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Barnsley (Pens: 5-4)

  • August 10, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton won a penalty shootout for the first time in 20 years as they saw off Barnsley to book their place in round two of the Carabao Cup.

After a goalless 90 minutes at the University of Bolton Stadium, both Wanderers and the Tykes were successful with their first four attempts from 12 yards before Joel Dixon became an instant hero by saving from Devante Cole.

That gave Josh Sheehan the opportunity to clinch victory, one which he took with an outstanding spot-kick that flew into the roof of the net.

Victory - their first over higher-league opposition in the competition since 1999 - saw the Trotters progress beyond the first stage for the first time in four seasons.

Having opened the campaign with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday, Ian Evatt made six changes to his team as Dixon, Liam Gordon, Ricardo Santos, Kieran Lee, Nathan Delfouneso and Lloyd Isgrove came in for Matt Gilks, Declan John, Alex Baptiste, Sheehan, Oladapo Afolayan and Amadou Bakayoko.

Barnsley dominated the early stages and thought they had taken a lead inside three minutes courtesy of Cauley Woodrow, only for referee David Webb to rule the goal out for offside after Dixon had saved an initial attempt from Clarke Oduor.

Woodrow tried his luck again moments later, this time looping a shot over the bar after Dixon had committed to a cross, moments before Oduor nodded straight at the goalkeeper from a Jordan Williams ball into the box.

Bolton's first venture forward came with 10 minutes played as Eoin Doyle twisted and turned inside the area, but Michal Helik defended the situation superbly to block any strike on goal.

They came close to breaking the deadlock on the quarter-hour as Isgrove's corner was headed away but only as far as Antoni Sarcevic, whose chipped attempt flew narrowly over the top of Walton's bar.

Victor Adeboyejo dragged a shot wide just before the half-hour for Barnsley, while George Johnston forced Walton into a save at the other end after he had played a one-two with Sarcevic.

Dixon's concentration was tested as he made two routine stops to deny Callum Styles and Williams, before Sarcevic pulled a strike well wide of the target with what would prove to be the final effort of the half.

There were no changes to either side as the players returned for the second period, which began with Santos heading a corner from Isgrove beyond Walton's far post.

Oduour wasted a glorious opportunity to give the visitors a lead on 52 minutes, lashing wide from the edge of the box after a poor clearance from Gordon, shortly before he turned provider as his pass to Josh Benson resulted in a shot that could only rustle the side-netting.

Barnsley stepped up their game as the clock entered the final 20 minutes but they struggled to find that elusive goal, with Dixon this time at full stretch to stop a header from Cole, but it was Wanderers who had the best chance to take the victory in the closing stages.

After Sheehan had seen his goalbound attempt parried away by Walton, the ball would eventually loop up into the air where Bakayoko could only succeed in heading over from close range.

And so to penalties, a lottery in which Bolton had failed to win in any of their last three attempts.

Sarcevic, Isgrove, Bakayoko and Elias Kachunga all found the net for Wanderers, as did Benson, Herbie Kane, Helik and Williams for the visitors.

Then, with the last of the Tykes' regulation five, Dixon dived to his left to stick out an arm and deny Cole, after which Sheehan picked out the roof of the net with ice-cold composure to seal the Trotters' progression into round two.

Evatt's side return to league action this coming Saturday, when they face AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane.

Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Gordon, Johnston, Santos, Jones, Williams, Lee (Sheehan 79), Delfouneso (Bakayoko 55), Sarcevic, Isgrove, Doyle (Kachunga 65)
Subs Not Used: Tutte, Brockbank, Thomason, Darcy
Booked: Jones

Barnsley: Walton, Moon, Helik, Halme, Miller, Styles (Kane 60), Benson, Williams, Oduor, Woodrow (Cole 60), Adeboyejo (Thompson 56)
Subs Not Used: Collins, Sibbick, Frieser, Sraha
Booked: Benson, Moon, Kane

Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 7,147

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 >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston