Bolton Wanderers U21s beat holders Manchester United on penalties to reach Lancashire Senior Cup semi-final
WANDERERS Under-21s progressed to the last four of the Lancashire Senior Cup tonight after dumping holders Manchester United out 5-4 on penalties at Altrincham’s Moss Lane.
Jamie Fullarton’s team looked to be heading out after trailing to Joe Rothwell’s first-half penalty after the United forward had been tripped by Rob Hall in the box just before the half-hour mark.
But Hall made amends with a fine delivery from a free-kick on the right three minutes from time that Zach Clough converted nipping in at the near post to beat home stopper Joel Castro Pereira.
That made it 1-1 at full-time and the quarter-final went straight to a shoot-out in front of a crowd of 401.
United were first up and the first four spot-kicks were scored – the Red Devils successful through Andreas Pereira and Uruguay under-19 international defender Guillermo Varela while Wanderers responded through Clough and Hall.
Then came the decisive kick which saw United left-back Reece James blaze over the bar down the middle.
The impressive Josh Vela put the Whites ahead and with every other kick converted – Rothwell and Charni Ekangamene for the hosts and substitute Tom Walker for Wanderers – it was left for skipper Oscar Threlkeld to slot home the winning kick.
It was capped a solid display from Fullarton’s team who battled hard against a talented United line-up coached by former Wanderer Warren Joyce.
But for a last-ditch tackle from home captain Tom Thorpe, Andy Kellett could have put the visitors ahead early on before Clough saw a low shot saved.
On 27 minutes, however, Rothwell was fouled by Hall, much to the winger’s disbelief, and Arran Lee-Barrett was sent the wrong way from the penalty spot.
It should have been level at the break but for an incredible point-blank save to deny Clough what looked a certain goal from a few yards after James Kelly had headed a Hall free-kick to the far post.
It was an even second half with few chances, the hosts wasting the best with some wayward shooting.
The Whites introduced Conor Wilkinson for George Iliev but he lasted just 18 minutes before a thigh injury saw him forced off and replaced by Walker.
Right-back Kelly played a neat one-two with Chris Lester before sending a curling effort onto the roof of the United net as the Whites got closer.
Then, with three minutes to go, a needless free-kick conceded by James proved costly as Hall found Clough for the equaliser.
No further goals meant spot-kicks and the Whites held their nerve to score all their five and set up a last-four date with Wigan Athletic.
BWFC Under21s: Lee-Barrett, Kelly, Holding, Threlkeld, Kellett, Lester, Vela, Robinson, Hall, Clough, Iliev. Subs: Wilkinson 59 (Iliev), Walker 77 (Wilkinson). Not used:- Woodland, Bastos, Campbell.