WANDERERS bowed out of the FA Cup to non-league opposition for the first time in 110 years after twice blowing a two-goal lead at Edgeley Park.

Ian Evatt’s side fluffed their lines in front of the TV cameras after being in front for more than 83 minutes but have only themselves to blame for what will go down as one of the most embarrassing knock-out exits in the club’s proud history.

Not since Chesterfield dumped Bolton out of the FA Cup in 1911 have they lost to opposition outside the Football League – but there can be no complaints on a night where few could hold their head up high walking off the pitch.

It was Bolton’s game to lose when they raced into a 2-0 lead through Elias Kachunga and an Ash Palmer own goal.

Paddy Madden pulled one back from the spot but Amadou Bakayoko restored the two-goal cushion on the half-hour after more poor defending from the home side.

Scott Quigley – well known to Ian Evatt from his time at Barrow – pulled a goal back before half time and Palmer headed the equaliser with less than a minute to go.

Quigley effectively booked a second round meeting with Rotherham United with a fourth in extra time but it was Ollie Crankshaw who added an exclamation mark with another excellent finish, sparking a pitch invasion from the jubilant home supporters.

Evatt made two changes to the team which beat Crewe last Friday, with MJ Williams pulling out of the squad overnight through illness, which meant plans to rest Kieran Lee had to be reversed and George Thomason brought in.

George Johnston was also drafted in to replace Will Aimson at centre-back but Eoin Doyle was not risked and has now had a painkilling injection in his calf.

The BBC cameras had conspired on Edgeley Park smelling an upset. All the ingredients were there, including a first full house in more than a decade.

Stockport surged forward from the off but got rocked on their heels inside two minutes when Lee nicked the ball from Paddy Madden, setting Kachunga on his way from deep inside his own half. Beating Will Collar for pace, he worked space for a shot and was helped enormously by a deflection off Mark Kitching.

Just three minutes later Wanderers made it two. Kachunga worked the ball well on the right with Josh Sheehan, whose low cross to the near post left Palmer embarrassed as he kicked the ball against his own standing leg and into his own net.

It was a gift, plain and simple. But credit to the National League men, they did not let their heads go down.

Bolton old boy Sarcevic had a golden chance to pull one back but after latching on to Madden’s flicked header he could not beat the onrushing Joel Dixon.

Stockport continued to pepper the Bolton box with crosses. Ricardo Almeida Santos looked imperious for the opening half hour but Wanderers’ inability to push out and keep some possession in midfield left them constantly under pressure.

And it was with a poor pass from George Johnston that the home side did get back into it – the ball eventually worked to the edge of the box where Lloyd Isgrove made a clumsy challenge on Ryan Rydel, and ref Samuel Barrott pointed to the spot.

Madden drilled the penalty low to Joel Dixon’s right, and the BBC suddenly had the game they were hoping for.

Stockport’s confidence had been boosted. Their fans found their voice. Yet another defensive mistake would send them back to square one.

Dixon’s long ball towards Bakayoko wasn’t especially accurate but Mark Kitching panicked, nudging the ball past his own keeper and leaving the Bolton striker to slide the ball into an empty net. Never has the expression ‘mad as a hatter’ been more appropriate.

With a 3-1 lead and half an hour gone, it really should have been a simpler exercise for the Whites. Stockport had other plans, though, and with Ashley Southam-Hales giving Declan John and George Johnston a torrid time, they just kept on throwing the ball forward to test Wanderers’ resolve.

The pressure finally told when Rydel whipped a cross in towards Scott Quigley, who stepped off Santos to flick a header past Dixon and bring County within a goal once again.

Josh Sheehan tweaked his knee midway through the half and the injury eventually forced him off just before the interval. Will Aimson was his replacement, which meant a shift in system and an extra centre-half to repel the bombardment Bolton’s penalty box was getting.

Wanderers needed to find more control in the second half but their inability to keep possession, pick the composed pass or be first to the second ball in midfield just highlighted how much they have come to rely on Williams’ combativeness.

Stockport blundered forward. Quigley flashed a couple of efforts over the bar and there were a few difficult clearances for Johnston and Santos to make in front of their own goal but clear cut opportunities were at a premium. Would this become a case of killing off the Hatters, or simply holding on?

Nathan Delfouneso came on to add some freshness to what had become a non-existent attack for the final stages. Bakayoko had run his race but looked in some discomfort as he walked off the pitch, which could be cause for concern looking toward the weekend and Wycombe.

Xav Amaechi also got the last 10 minutes as Evatt looked to exploit the Hatters’ increasing urgency to get back into the game.

Neither change had much of an effect. Santos continued to head every ball ploughed into the Bolton box and when Kachunga did get a chance to break, his final pass looking to tee up Amaechi on the edge of the box was a poor one.

Kitching had a chance to make amends for his earlier mistake, seeing a shot deflected just wide of the post. Declan John also made another crucial block to deny sub Ollie Crankshaw.

The resulting corner finally eluded Santos, and Palmer plundered a header from close range to send the home crowd into delirium.

Wanderers could hardly complain. They had twice held a two-goal lead but were suddenly looking like a team shaking with nerves as the game went into extra time.

With momentum in their favour, Stockport fancied their chances and completed an incredible comeback when Madden teased a ball between Santos and Johnston for his strike partner Quigley, who finished well past Dixon.

Wanderers tried to respond at the start of the second half of extra time, Isgrove having a cross-shot pushed away by Ethan Ross. But there was little conviction, they had thrown this game in the bin, and they knew it.

Crankshaw rubbed further salt into the wounds as he chased through on to Raikhy’s ball, beating Thomason for pace to crash home a fifth.