Report: Accrington Stanley 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers bowed out of the Trophy when they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Lancashire neighbours Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium.

Goals in each half from Offrande Zanzala and Colby Bishop proved to be enough for the hosts who will now take on Fleetwood Town in the next round of the competition.

Manager Keith Hill made four changes from the side that grabbed a last gasp point against AFC Wimbledon at the University of Bolton Stadium at the weekend.

Josh Earl returned from suspension, while Adam Senior, James Weir and Dennis Politic returned to the fore.

Wanderers had the game first chance when Politic’s free-kick from distance went narrowly wide after O’Grady was fouled whilst trying to lose the attention of Ross Sykes.

At the other end, Sykes narrowly headed wide from a corner after Dion Charles broke into the danger area only to be dispossessed by Jason Lowe.

The hosts took the lead after ten minutes when Offrande Zanzala beat Remi Matthews.

Matthews made a smart save moments later to prevent Stanley from doubling their lead when he tipped Jerome Opoku’s shot over the bar.

The visitors had a chance to get back on term just before the half hour mark but O’Grady could only shoot wide from 12 yards.

Former Wanderer Joe Pritchard tried his luck from 30 yards but the ball sailed harmlessly over Matthews’ bar.

The midfielder had another chance shortly afterwards when Yoan Zouma conceded a free-kick only for the midfielder to strike wide from a tight angle with the resulting set-piece.

Some good work by Ronan Darcy and Politic almost found O’Grady lurking in a threatening position but the ball went beyond the Wanderers' frontman.

Wanderers tried to crank up the pressure as the half drew to a close and Weir did well to break forward down the right-hand side but his low delivery was turned wide at the near post by Politic.

Hill made two changes at the interval with Adam Chicksen and Thibaud Verlinden coming on for Zouma and Weir.

Sub Verlinden was showing his usual attacking elan from the off and he saw a low drive kept out by Josef Bursik who then followed up with a reactive save to stymie Darcy’s follow up effort.

Matthews was also pressed into action in the Wanderers goal when made an important save to keep out Sam Finley’s dipping shot from 25 yards.

The Wanderers keeper comfortably held onto Conneely’s cushioned shot after Pritchard’s corner reached him just outside the box.

Another Verlinden attempt had the Stanley defence on the back foot but this time his effort failed to trouble Bursik as the ball went over the bar.

The on-loan Belgian winger was causing constant problems for the hosts and his dangerous low cross narrowly failed to reach O’Grady who was finely poised in the Accrington box.

Edwards spurned a glorious chance to increase the hosts’ lead when he skewed a volley horribly wide after Finely hooked the ball into the Wanderers box.

With 20 minutes of the tie remaining, Hill made his final change of the evening when he brought on Joe Dodoo for Chris O’Grady.

Earl got on the end of a Verlinden corner to plant a head towards goal but the ball was cleared off the line by a Town defender to deny the visitors an equaliser.

Wanderers were rallying as the game wore on and Josh Emmanuel was the latest Wanderer to try and salvage an equaliser when his powerful shot went just wide.

Any hopes of a Wanderers comeback were put to bed by  Colby Bishop’s late strike to put Stanley two goals to the good with just five minutes remaining on the clock.

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