Bolton suffered a consecutive penalty shoot-out defeat in the EFL Trophy as they beaten by Rochdale last night.
Keith Hill made just the two changes from Saturday’s game at Portsmouth, with the idea of getting players match fit in the absence of a pre-season. Not having another game for another six days probably helped that thinking.
Wanderers took the lead just before half-time with what will go down as our goal of the season so far – Ali Crawford bended in a free kick from long range. After the break though, Aaron Wilbraham levelled thing for Rochdale, although if you had to pick one player who had to score against us last night, Wilbraham would probably the one you wouldn’t begrudge.
Thibaud Verlinden had the ball in the net late on, but Will Buckley was penalised for a foul in the build-up and we were denied a winner that would have put us in a good position to qualify. Ultimately, it would be one point rather than two, as Adam Chicksen’s spot kick was missed, allowing Jimmy Keohane to take that crucial additional point.
We do however sit second going into the final round of group games, with the same number of points but a better goal difference than Bradford or Rochdale. We play Man City’s kids at the end of the month, we will need to at least pick up two points (basically win on penalties) to have a chance of getting through, but if we do at least that, then it’s a case of Bradford or Rochdale picking up enough points and/or improving their goal difference when they meet on 12th November.