Bolton Wanderers were defeated by Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship.
One change for Phil Parkinson’s men from their victory against Derby County on Saturday, seeing David Wheater missing out and Marc Wilson coming into the starting eleven after serving his suspension.
A Will Buckley cross early on was deflected by Ryan Woods into the path of Josh Magennis, who was six yards out but couldn’t get it under control and miskicked his shot.
Minutes later and Wanderers keeper Remi Matthews was called into action, as a Tom Ince thunderbolt came from 20 yards out forcing a strong save from the Norwich City loanee.
Stoke had the lead on nine minutes through Bruno Martins Indi
A Tom Ince corner was looped into the area to find an unmarked Martins Indi, who nodded the ball into the Wanderers net.
Quarter of an hour into the game and Benik Afobe could have made it 2-0 to the home side.
Cuco Martina provided a cross from the right into the area, finding the former Wanderers striker. From there, he spun on the six yard box and sliced his shot over the bar.
A free kick to Stoke was next to come close, as Tom Ince struck a curling freekick that narrowly missed the target.
Just before the half hour mark and Tom Ince found Saido Berahino in space in the Whites penalty area.
He jinked to his left, but a superb diving challenge from Pawel Olkowski averted the dangerous threat he posed.
Moments later and Ince was back at it for the Potters. After some intricate passing play, he lined up a driven shot along the floor which Matthews saved with ease.
Five minutes into the second half and another Tom Ince free kick tested the hand strength of Matthews. The winger got his strike up and over the wall but the Whites shot stopper was equal to it as he tipped it out of play.
Craig Noone was proving quite the menace down the right for Wanderers, as he cut inside with the ball and fired goalward. However, Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland was up to the task and saved the Liverpudlian’s shot.
Afobe was at it again for the Potters, as Erik Pieters squared the ball to the Congolese frontman, who stung the gloves of Matthews as he dropped down on the ball to claim at the second chance.
Bolton did have the ball in the Potters’ goal, with an Erhun Oztumer cross finding the head of Josh Magennis to crash the ball past Butland.
Unfortunately for him, he was harshly adjudged to have fouled Ashley Williams in the area.
The man nicknamed “Turkish Messi” grew in confidence and nearly had a goal to celebrate for his efforts.
Shrugging off two challenges from oncoming Stoke defenders to shoot from distance, narrowly missing the bottom left corner.
On the 74 minute mark and Stoke had their second through Tom Ince.
Substitute James McClean wriggled his way down the left flank, finding Ince with his cross and the former Crystal Palace man did the rest as he rifled home past Matthews at the near post.
Wanderers nearly had a way back into the tie through sub Yanic Wildschut.
A lovely cross from Olkwoski was knocked away as far as the Dutchman, who struck it on the full volley.
Stoke were alert to the chance however, as they threw bodies on the line to block the firmly struck shot.
Martins Indi nearly had the home side’s third before the end, latching onto an Ince cross but deflected his effort wide.
Wanderers XI: Matthews, Lowe (C), Oztumer, Buckley (Wildschut 60), Noone (Donaldson 72), Hobbs, Olkowski, Wilson, J Williams, Magennis (Doidge 72), Grounds
Unused substitutes: B. Williams, Vela, O’Neil, Wheater