Read the full account of Wanderers' Emirates FA Cup replay at Selhurst Park
Wanderers exited the Emirates FA Cup following a third round replay defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night.
Following a goalless first period, the deadlock was broken three minutes into the second half as James Henry’s looped effort eluded Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
The home side were level with 22 minutes remaining however, with substitute Christian Benteke nodding home while the striker doubled his and the Eagles’ tally in the 77th minute as he fired home from the edge of the box - a goal which proved decisive come full time.
Wanderers were unchanged for their last league outing against Swindon Town, with the substitutes’ bench also the same.
Chung-Yong Lee also lined up against his former employers once again.
Bolton started brightly, with Gary Madine coming close to connecting with a dangerous cross into the six yard box inside three minutes.
The home side were soon on the attack themselves, although any pressure exerted by the Eagles was comfortably soaked up by the Whites’ defence.
It was very scrappy stuff from both teams inside the opening stages, although Josh Vela did flash a shot from the edge of the area just wide of Julian Speroni’s far post in the 11th minute of the game.
Up the other end meanwhile, Lawrie Wilson spared Bolton’s blushes with a goal-line clearance whilst David Wheater also cleared the ball away at the death moments later.
Wilson was to the rescue again shortly after, pulling off a smart tackle to deny Sullay Kaikai when in on goal.
Palace settled into a spell of position thereafter, with Bolton forced back in their numbers to defend.
They also saw a free-kick on the very edge of the box from Kaikai narrowly elude the goalmouth with most of Selhurst Park thinking that it was destined to hit the back of the net.
Joe Ledley meanwhile had the ball in the back of the net on the half hour mark, but the Welshman was booked for a deliberate handball in the build-up.
Martin Kelly then saw a back-post header somehow saved by Ben Alnwick with the goalkeeper smothering his goalbound effort.
Townsend, a constant threat for the hosts, sent a drive straight into the arms of the shot-stopper with five minutes of the half remaining.
But despite their dominance, the Eagles couldn’t breach Bolton’s rearguard and the half ended goalless.
With no changes at the break, the second period got underway and Wanderers started strongly.
And their efforts were rewarded in the 48th minute as Henry’s looped effort eluded Speroni in the Palace goal and nestled into the corner of the net to send the travelling Bolton fans into raptures.
A shock to the system for the hosts, they were visibly a little stunned but set about looking for a way back into the clash.
Wanderers meanwhile were boosted themselves and proceeded to soak up a period of Palace pressure.
A triple substitution for the home side shortly after the hour mark brought a fresh outlook for Sam Allardyce’s men with Benteke, Tomkins and Puncheon all introduced for the Premier League outfit.
And the former reaped almost immediate dividends, with Benteke nodding home a Flamini cross to level the scores with 22 minutes remaining.
Vela almost restored Bolton’s advantage moments later however, slamming a volley agonisingly wide of Speroni’s upright.
The hosts though proceeded to take the lead themselves with 13 minutes of the 90 remaining through Benteke once again, this time courtesy of a shot from the edge of the box.
An equaliser looked certain to have arrived with ten minutes to go as Wilson found Clough, but the little man just couldn’t control the ball in the six yard box and scuffed his effort just wide.
Bolton were far from a beaten team despite their disappointment at falling behind, and were still showing their mettle inside the closing stages of the clash.
A double attacking substitution of Max Clayton and Chris Taylor signaled Bolton's intent, and with four minutes given at the end of the 90 it was all hands to the pump.
It wasn't to be however come full time as the hosts held out to progress.