What the press made of the Carabao Cup Exit
Crewe Alex were hit by two second-half sucker punches as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Bolton Wanderers at Gresty Road on Tuesday night.
The Alex were good value for their half-time lead, established by Chris Porter’s third goal for the club since signing in the summer.
But they tired in the second half against the much fresher Wanderers side and paid the price in the final 20 minutes.
Bolton will have felt very fortunate to leave South Cheshire knowing they are in the next round of the cup, and the Railwaymen will have been bitterly disappointed.
But there were plenty of positives from the performance, reflected by a standing ovation from fans at the end.
Now manager David Artell has the task of lifting spirits and motivating tired bodies ahead of the visit of Newport County on Saturday.
The Bolton News
AS far as unlikely match-winners go, Derik Osede tops the list, but it was the Spaniard who came up with the goods at Crewe to help Wanderers progress in the Carabao Cup.
The former Real Madrid man hadn’t come close to opening his account for the Whites in two years since swapping the Bernabeu for Bolton.
But his header 10 minutes from the end ensured Phil Parkinson’s side did not have to work overtime after another strong second-half show.
Adam Armstrong scored his first goal for the club since joining on loan to level the game with 20 minutes to go – shortly after Phil Parkinson had gone for broke and introduced all three of his subs to try to prevent the upset.
League Two Crewe impressed and battled to the bitter end, seeing a late corner scrambled away from the goal with the last kick.
They could have been further ahead had it not been for the woodwork and some smart goalkeeping from Ben Alnwick.
For the second time in four days, however, the Whites managed to shake off the cobwebs and finish stronger than they started.
Wanderers had deservedly trailed at half-time after Chris Porter's downward header from George Cooper's cross and Porter struck the bar after the break.
But a triple change turned the game in the visitors' favour as Adam Armstrong tapped in his first goal for Bolton.
Derik Osede headed in his first in English football from substitute Filipe Morais' dinked cross to win it late on.
Crewe were on top early on and could have ended the contest before the hour mark, but Championship Bolton finished the stronger after boss Phil Parkinson's 66th-minute substitutions.
Parkinson had made 10 changes to his starting line-up, while Crewe named the same side that drew with Mansfield in the fourth tier on Saturday.