Hartlepool United booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy after a hard-fought victory over League One Bolton Wanderers. A strike from Mr Papa John’s Trophy, Maty Daly, was enough to see Graeme Lee’s side progress.
Though Bolton started the brighter of the two sides, it was Pools who had the first sight of goal. Maty Daly picked up a knockdown and played it to Luke Molyneux in the box, but the forward saw his shot blocked by Bolton captain, Ricardo Santos.
Bolton then had a chance of their own, with Kachunga finding Charles but Odusina’s block saw the ball go wide of Ben Killip’s goal. The resulting corner was almost headed past Killip, but the ‘keeper got in the way of Charles’ effort.
A big chance came in the 17th minute as Nathan Delfouneso’s first-time effort narrowly missed Killip’s upright. Good play for Bolton followed, and Pools closed out the half with two big blocks from Jones and then Olomola on the line.
The second half started with the same high tempo as the first, with Smith striking the ball wide and Dixon holding Crawford’s effort. Bolton then had a chance of their own, but Killip made a smart save to deny Afalayon. The forward went close again just after the hour mark, sending a bending effort just beyond Killip’s far post.
Both sides continued to press forward in search of the opener, but chances were at a premium as the game entered the final 10 minutes. A chance from the most unlikely circumstances - Bolton’s ‘keeper tried to play out from the back and inadvertently passed it straight to Mr Papa John’s Trophy, Maty Daly, who rounded Dixon and fired home.
Mike Fondop had a chance to make it two not long later, but his edge-of-the-box effort was caught by Dixon. As we entered stoppage time, Bolton had a chance of their own but Killip was equal to Afalayan’s front-post drive. A late free-kick was repelled well by Pools and Lee’s side were in the quarter-finals.
Pools XI: Killip; Jones, Odusina, Byrne, Francis-Angol; Crawford, Smith (Featherstone 76), Daly; Olomola (Fondop 81), Molyneux, Grey (Ferguson 90)