Wilkinson hits four as Wanderers progress
Wanderers’ development squad ensured their progression into the quarter finals of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup with an emphatic 7-2 drubbing of Blackpool on Tuesday afternoon.
The Whites had raced into a 3-0 lead at the break thanks to Conor Wilkinson’s hat-trick, but the Seasiders pulled two goals back shortly after the restart through Steve Davies and an own goal from Andy Kellett.
Not to be deterred however, Bolton hit back with another strike from Wilkinson, a superb solo effort from Chris Lester and a brace from Kellett to set up a last eight tie with Manchester United.
Wanderers started brightly and their early pressure was to yield the opening goal of the game inside two minutes as Zach Clough chased the ball downfield before threading it into the feet of Wilkinson who slotted home.
Having begun in such emphatic fashion, the Whites proceeded to double their advantage just three minutes later, this time Kellett providing the cross for Wilkinson who prodded the ball home from close range.
As the half wore on, Wilkinson went close to his hat trick after a mazy run from midfield, while Jan Gregus clipped the crossbar with his corner.
Having been virtually spectators for much of the first period, Blackpool went close through Marvin Zeegelaar in the 25th minute, but Harry Campbell was equal to his effort.
After a flurry of chances, the tempo of the game dropped somewhat as the game headed towards the break, with another tame Zeegelaar effort being the most notable opportunity of the closing stages.
With the half looking set to finish with Wanderers just two to the good however, Wilkinson completed his treble in fine style, slotting home from a matter of yards out from Lester's ball across the face of goal.
After struggling to break Wanderers' resolve in the opening 45 minutes, the Seasiders began the second half with a bang as Davies headed home Daniel Johnson's cross with just 30 seconds on the clock.
Buoyed by their early impact, Blackpool started to unleash audacious efforts on the Bolton goal, including a long range effort from Davies which had Campbell back-peddling.
Following a tirade of attacks from the hosts, Blackpool finally snatched a second as Kellett inadvertedly bundled the ball past his own goalkeeper under pressure.
With two goals under their belts, it was clear to see that Blackpool fancied themselves to snatch an equaliser, but it was to be Wanderers who would find the back of the net as Wilkinson snatched his fourth with 66 minutes gone.
The goal appeared to work wonders for the Whites’ confidence, and the team’s three goal advantage was restored just five minutes later as Chris Lester chipped the ball over the advancing Mark Halstead in the Blackpool net.
Having put the ball into his own net earlier in the half, Kellett was to make it six with 79 minutes on the clock following a mazy run into the area which resulted in him slotting the ball under the Seasiders’ keeper.
As the clock ran down, the conditions on the coast became almost unplayable as the rain poured down on Blackpool’s Squires Gate training ground, but there was still enough time for Kellett to complete the rout on the stroke of full time with a tap in from close range.
Bolton: Campbell, White, Kellett, Threlkeld, Bolger, Kelly (Knight, 75), Lester, Gregus, Wilkinson, Clough, Youngs (Iliev, 65)
Subs not used: Nolan, Matthews, Knight
Blackpool: Halstead, Barkhuizen, Clayton, McGahey, Staunton-Turner, Johnson, Zeegelaar, Grant, Davies (Charles, 53), Chopra, Tyson
Subs not used: Banvo, Hunt, Waddington, Cameron