Match Report


Wed 22 Aug 12

Reds completed a remarkable turnaround to beat Championship side Bolton 2-1 to progress to the 3rd Round of the Capital One Cup.

Benik Afobe gave the Championship side the lead in the 20th minute very much against the run of play before substitute Billy Clarke deservedly equalised with just 10 minutes left.

Nicky Ajose completed the comeback with another late goal following his winner against Doncaster three days earlier to seal another memorable win for Reds.

It was richly deserved too as Reds limited Owen Coyle's side to few clear cut chances throughout to move into the last 32 for the first time.

Richie Barker made two changes to the side that beat Doncaster as David Hunt and Gary Alexander made way for Mark Connolly, who was up against his former club, and Jonathan Forte.

That meant Forte lined up alongside Ajose in attack while Claude Davis wore the armband in Alexander's absence.

It was Reds who created the opening opportunity of the game. Nicky Adams' corner was flicked on by Kyle McFadzean but the defender's header came back off the bar and Bolton managed to clear.

Despite being on top for much of the opening 20 minutes Reds fell behind. Martin Petrov managed to evade the challenge of Connolly and slipped through Afobe.

The Arsenal loanee kept his composure to round Paul Jones and tap into an empty net.

Reds continued to work hard and almost levelled through Adams. His effort from just outside the box skidded inches wide after good work from Ajose down the left hand side.

Barker's side began the second half just like they had the first firmly in the ascendancy. Substitute Dannie Bulman's cross was just too high for Forte and his header drifted wide.

Petrov out on the left for Bolton was their main threat. He went close with a cross-come-shot with his side's only real opening of the half, but Reds did well to clear.

Just after the hour mark Reds probably had their best chance of the game when Mat Sadler found space at the back post. The defender couldn't quite get enough power into his header, though, and the ball drifted over.

Off the back of his winning goal on Saturday Ajose was looking lively. He was next to work an angle for a shot, but couldn't quite find the target as it drifted wide.

Minutes later and Adams, playing against his home town side, went close as he cut in from the right but saw his left footed effort deflected behind for a corner.

Bolton thought they had made it 2-0 with 15 minutes to go, but substitute Marvin Sordell was denied, rightly, by the offside flag.

With just 10 minutes left to play, Reds were finally rewarded for their dominance. Substitute CLARKE found space on the edge of the area and curled the ball brilliantly past Andy Lonergan to equalise.

Reds were almost ahead just a minute later. Forte flicked on cleverly for Ajose but the striker's volley went inches past the far post.

The visitors were stunned but almost regained the lead five minutes later as Petrov ran clear but his rasping drive was pushed away well by Jones to keep the scores level.

Reds continued to press and almost won it as the game ticked into stoppage time. Sadler's cross found Forte but the striker couldn't quite get enough of a connection to tap home.

Seconds later though and Reds were ahead. Clarke did well to cross andAJOSE was on hand to head home for his second goal in as many games.

There was no time left for Bolton to find an equaliser as Reds claimed yet another Championship scalp, their fifth in less than two years, to move into the 3rd Round of Capital One Cup.

Reds: Jones; Connolly, Davis (c), McFadzean, Sadler; Torres (Bulman 45), Akpan, Cooper (Clarke 74), Adams; Forte, Ajose. Subs: Simpson, Hunt, Akinde, Neilson, Kuipers.

Bolton: Lonergan; Alonso, Ream, Knight, Riley; Petrov, Andrews, M. Davies (K. Davies 71), Eagles; Afobe (Sordell 57), Vela (Pratley 8). Subs: Bogdan, Mills, Wylde, Ricketts

Attendance: 2,678 (301 Bolton)

    Data provided by Press Association

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