Bolton Wanderers defeated Sky Bet Championship side Barnsley to progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup after beating the Yorkshiremen 5-4 on penalties at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Although Wanderers were probably the stronger side in the second half, nothing could separate either team after the regulation 90 minutes.
The penalty shootout was of high quality with each side emphatically finding the back of the net until Joel Dixon kept out Devante Cole’s strike.
Substitute Josh Sheehan struck home the winning spot-kick to put Ian Evatt’s side into the hat for Wednesday’s draw.
The Wanderers manager made six changes from that side that drew against MK Dons on Saturday with Ricardo Almeida Santos returning to the starting XI.
Joel Dixon made his first-team debut in between the posts, while Nathan Delfouneso, Kieran Lee, Lloyd Isgrove, and Liam Gordon came in for their first starts of the campaign.
Dixon was pressed into action early on to make a point-blank save from the head of Clarke Oduor. Cauley Woodrow was then flagged for offside as he put the rebound into the net.
The visitors almost went ahead but for a vital save by Dixon who kept out Odour’s mis-hit from close range after the frontman got on the end of a Jordan Williams' cross into the box.
Wanderers were presented with a good chance when Liam Gordon’s trickery played in Doyle, but the Irishman was robbed of possession as he tried to find an angle to shoot from.
Josh Benson picked up the game’s first yellow card when he brought down Kieran Lee just as the midfielder was in full flow. A blatant foul to halt a Wanderers counter-attack.
Antoni Sarcevic’s ball back into the box after the Tykes’ failed to clear a Wanderers corner had Jack Walton scrambling towards his goal line but the effort eventually went wide.
Victor Adeboyejo was played in after the visitors won the ball in midfield, but he fired wide after being placed under pressure by the returning Almeida Santos.
The best move of the game came after the half-hour mark when George Johnston turned away from his man on the edge of the box, to play a neat one-two with Sarcevic. The defender’s low strike didn’t have enough power to trouble the diving Walton though.
Callum Styles’ deflected drive from the edge of the box fell safely into the arms of Dixon. The former Barrow stopper had come into the team to put in admirable display between the sticks.
Sarcevic found the ball just outside the box after Delfouneso and Gordon combined over on the left but the Wanderers skipper drilled his low left-footer across the goal and wide of the mark.
Walton punched away Isgrove’s inswinging free-kick shortly after the restart as Wanderers commenced the second half on the front foot. Almeida Santos then saw a looping header go wide of the target from Isgrove’s corner.
Evatt made his first change ten minutes into the half when Amadou Bakayoko came on for Delfouneso.
Wanderers were firmly on top and with the introduction of Bakayoko certainly had their opponents on the back foot.
Doyle was replaced by Elias Kachunga after 65 minutes with Bakayoko moving over to the middle of the front three.
Gethin Jones had his name taken, rather harshly, despite appearing to win the ball as Barnsley broke away through Cameron Thompson following a spell of pressure for the hosts.
A rare attack by Barnsley saw Thompson cross into the box for Cole, but the striker’s diving header at the near post was easily gathered by Dixon.
A quick free-kick from Kachunga found Lee and the midfielder’s cross was cleared behind for a corner. Ian Evatt's men had the bit between their teeth in search of a late winner.
Wanderers made their final change with a straight swap when Josh Sheehan came on for Lee with 12 minutes of the game remaining.
And Wanderers got the win they deserved thanks to a successful shootout with Sarcevic, Isgrove, Bakayoko, Kachunga, and Sheehan all netting.
Bolton Wanderers: Dixon, Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston, Gordon, Williams, Lee (Sheehan 79), Isgrove, Sarcevic, Delfouneso (Bakayoko 55), Doyle (Kachunga 65).
Subs Not Used: Brockbank, Tutte, Thomason, Darcy.
Barnsley: Walton, Moon, Helik, Halme, Miller, Williams, Styles (Kane 60), Benson, Oduor, Adeboyejo (Thompson 56), Woodrow (Cole 60).
Subs Not Used: Collins, Sibbick, Sraha, Frieser.