Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Back In Trophy Action


Bolton pick up their EFL Trophy campaign tomorrow when they face Hartlepool with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

There will be some rotation but hopefully there’ll be a strong team put out and a performance to match, with a winnable game against League Two opposition and Wembley in sight.

IAN EVATT | Wanderers manager previews Hartlepool United Papa John’s Trophy cup clash – YouTube

Team news

MJ Williams should be back after recovering from COVID but Kieran Lee is still unwell. Marlon Fossey, who signed today, could play, as could Dion Charles, even if he doesn’t start given his lack of game time this season.

Possible XI: Gilks; Fossey, Brockbank, Baptiste, Gordon; Williams, Johnston; Kachunga, Thomason, Afolayan; Bakayoko

Last time…

Save for a few meetings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we’ve barely played Pools in the league. Our last competitive game at Victoria Park in any guise was in 1998, taking a 1-0 lead from the first leg of a League Cup first round tie at the Reebok, we then went to the North East where a Nathan Blake hat-trick wrapped up a 3-0 win on the night and a 4-0 aggregate success.

The opposition

Hartlepool are nicely in mid-table in their first season back in the EFL. They did lose their manager in November though, when Dave Challinor went to Stockport. Graeme Lee has since taken over, but form has been mixed of late, with one win from five in the league and a draw against bottom side Oldham at the weekend. They don’t have a stand out goalscorer, Mark Cullen has six. Right-back Jamie Sterry came through at Newcastle, but after mental health struggles has settled down nicely at Hartlepool, scoring a penalty in the National league play-off final last summer. Midfielder Mark Shelton is also another potential player to watch, while after spending most of his career in Scotland or non-league left sided Zaine Francis-Angol, at the age of 28, is getting a first full season in the EFL.


A mid-table League Two side but one which still won 3-0 at Sheffield Wednesday in the last round, so they can cause us problems. The return of Williams, a match under our belts after the recent break though, and some sensible rotation, should be hopefully enough to see us through. 2-0 to Bolton.

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