Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Embarrassed In FA Cup Exit


Bolton exited the FA Cup last night in embarrassing fashion, blowing a 3-1 lead to lose 5-3 at Stockport after extra time.

The first six minutes of the night were undoubtedly the highlight for us. At that point it looked like it would be a professional, no-nonsense performance. Elias Kachunga drove forward, his shot taking a slight deflection, and with our first chance of the game were already ahead, then four minutes later Ash Palmer scored an own goal. We were 2-0 up in six minutes, and the pre-match noise from the Stockport end was now absent.

But we appallingly let them back into it. Lloyd Isgrove gave away a penalty, and Paddy Madden put it away.

Even then, another Stockport howler gave us the chance to put this to bed, and Amadou Bakayoko restored the two goal advantage. At 3-1, surely we had booked that tie at Rotherham? No, seemingly not. We just didn’t control the game in the way that, even when we have lost this season, we’ve still had the majority of chances. This instead was an open game, and we were so bad without the ball, and not much better with it really. MJ Williams, out through illness, was a massive miss, and things were made even worse when Josh Sheehan suffered a knee injury. One of Ian Evatt’s former charges at Barrow, Scott Quigley, scored just before half-time. Quigley was very good on the night, George Johnston struggled to deal with the presence, while he would also drop back too. Can we try and bid for him in January?

Sheehan then came off, and with options limited, Will Aimson came in, with Johnston playing as a makeshift midfielder. Can we also add a Williams clone, backup, or competitor to that January shopping list please?

The second half was a painful watch, as the Stockport equaliser seemed inevitable, in fact it was a minor surprise that Palmer’s 85th minute goal took that long. From there it was a case of not who will go on to win it, but whether it would be with or without the help of extra time, Quigley and Crankshaw scored the goals in either period of extra time, and one of the poorest Bolton performances in recent years was concluded, and there’s a lengthy list of those to pick from. Only Ricardo Santos, and possibly Sheehan can come away from that with any respectability. It isn’t the worst defeat ever, at the end of the day lots of games that we’ve lost in poor fashion have had far more riding on it, but the performance last night stunk.

Anyway, everybody except the Bolton support will have enjoyed watching that, and especially Antoni Sarcevic it seems, after he was spotted singing about us after the final whistle. In fairness, we had been giving him it all game, and I’d be far more worried about our current crop after that match. They might want to have a think about defending a set-piece or two.

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