Report: Blackpool 4-2 Bolton AET
Bolton Wanderers suffered a first round EFL Cup extra-time exit at the hands of Blackpool on Tuesday night.
Jamie Proctor headed the Whites ahead right on the stroke of half-time, only for Blackpool to turn the game on its head against the run of play courtesy of two goals in quick-succession from Kelvin Mellor and Brad Potts.
Having hit the crossbar in the first half, Alex Finney was again denied by the woodwork as Bolton went in search of an equaliser before substitute Kaiyne Woolery rounded goalkeeper Sam Slocombe to level the scores in second half stoppage-time.
But with Trotters chances limited in extra-time, goals from Jim McAlister and John Herron saw Wanderers suffer a premature exit.
Jamie Proctor was handed his full Wanderers debut while Mark Davies was handed the captain's armband as Phil Parkinson made seven changes to the side that beat Sheffield United on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Ben Amos was named in goal while Alex Finney, Derik Osede, Liam Trotter and Tom Walker were also included in the Whites' starting line-up.
Backed by 2,261 vocal away supporters, Wanderers, wearing their Macron-manufactured sky blue 2016/17 away kit for the first time, started brightly as they looked to control the early possession at a windy Bloomfield Road.
However, with opportunities limited at either end, both sides were restricted to efforts from distance during the open quarter as they looked to take advantage of the conditions.
A wicked deflection almost gifted Bolton the lead midway through the half as a curling Liam Trotter effort seemed to wrong-foot Sam Slocombe, only for the goalkeeper to recover the ball on the line.
Continuing to try their luck from range, Derik was next to pull to trigger for the Trotters after the ball fell kindly to him 25-yards from goal, only to see his effort fly harmlessly over the crossbar.
It was to be the Spaniard’s last involvement of the night however, as injury forced him off moments later with Josh Vela entering the fray in his place.
Wanderers looked to get Mark Davies on the ball more as the half progressed with the talismanic playmaker going close to opening the scoring on the half-hour mark.
Combining well with Liam Trotter, the midfielder played a clever one-two on the edge of the Blackpool before rifling a shot narrowly over the bar with Slocombe well-beaten.
At the other end, Jim McAlister should have broken the deadlock for the hosts after connecting with a low cutback across goal, only to side-foot wide from close-range.
Lady luck was against Bolton as they twice went within a whisker of opening the scoring soon after, having a strike cleared off the line before being denied by the woodwork.
Coming from a Tom Walker corner, Mark Beevers rose highest at the far post to connect with the set-piece only to see his downward header cleared off the line, with Alex Finney then heading the rebound against the crossbar as Blackpool survived the danger.
However, just as it looked like the sides would go in at the break with the scores goalless, Jamie Proctor pounced to fire Wanderers ahead as he opened his account for the club.
Sneaking in at the far post, the unmarked forward timed his run to perfection to connect with Trotter’s lofted cross, powerfully heading home to mark his first Trotters start with a goal in the dying embers of the half.
Picking up where they left off, Wanderers had a strong penalty shout turned away with seconds of the restart as they looked to attack straight from the off.
Connecting on the volley with Lawrie Wilson’s cross, Trotter saw his thunderous first-time strike blocked Brad Potts, with loud shouts for handball from the Bolton players and supporters alike ignored by referee Darren Bond.
High in confidence having taken the lead, the Trotters quickly took control of the tie as the half wore on with Davies dictating play in the heart of midfield.
Creating numerous chances as they looked to double their lead and put the match to bed, Trotter saw another volley this time saved by Slocombe, while Walker and Chris Taylor both fired powerful efforts off-target.
However, Ben Amos had to alert to prevent Blackpool an equaliser midway through the half, diving full-stretch to tip Mark Yeates’ curling free-kick past the post.
Having replaced goalscorer Proctor, Gary Madine was unlucky not to extend Wanderers’ lead against his former club as he connected well with a Davies’ cutback, only to see his effort blocked.
But Bolton were made to rue their missed opportunities as Blackpool levelled the scores against the run of play with 15 minutes left on the clock, Kelvin Mellor emphatically volleying home across goal at the far post.
Things got worse for the Trotters moments later as the Seasiders took the lead, Potts the goalscorer this time as he rifled home at the far post from a Blackpool corner.
Phil Parkinson responded immediately by bringing on Kaiyne Woolery as Wanderers pressed forward in search of an equaliser, only for the woodwork to again deny Bolton and Finney as the centre-back headed against the post.
But just as it looked like they would undeservedly exit the competition at the first hurdle, Woolery delivered in the fifth minute of stoppage time to force extra-time, rounding Slocombe before coolly slotting home after racing onto a long ball forward.
EXTRA TIME FIRST HALF
Bolton continued to control possession but without testing Slocombe as the first half of extra-time passed with limited goal-mouth action at either end.
However, the Trotters could have re-taken the lead on the stroke of half-time, Taylor volleying narrowly over as penalty kicks loomed at Bloomfield Road.
EXTRA TIME SECOND HALF
Blackpool again took the lead as McAlister slotted home into an empty net in the 110th minute, side-footing home substitute John Herron’s pass across goal.
Amos denied Mark Culllen with his feet after the forward found himself one-on-one moments later.
But it was soon 4-2 as Wanderers were caught out on the break, Herron lobbing Amos to double the Seasiders’ lead and seal Bolton’s fate.