Barnsley will be in the hat for round two of the Emirates FA Cup after victory at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Two first half goals were enough for Michael Duff's side in this one, as the Reds recorded their first ever win at this venue, at the 10th time of asking.
On five minutes, the Reds made the perfect start. Liam Kitching initially stepped up well and dispossessed Conor Bradley on halfway. This retrieval allowed Herbie Kane and Nicky Cadden to link up nicely on the left, with the former swinging in a delicious delivery which bounced off Ricardo Almeida Santos in the six-yard-box and trickled past James Trafford into the Trotters goal.
Just ten minutes later, the Reds carved open the hosts’ defence once again. Devante Cole was at the heart of this one - linking up with Adam Phillips – and slotting in Jordan Williams who had made a lung-busting run on the right. Unfortunately, however, the wing-back’s first touch was a heavy one, allowing Trafford to come and claim, sliding in on the greasy surface at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The visitors nearly responded mid-way through the first period. Dion Charles was found through the middle, with the striker driving centrally towards goal. Our skipper Mads Andersen made a fantastic intervention, sliding in and halting the progress of Charles. The ball however fell back to the Trotters top scorer, playing in Dapo Afolayan on the left but his effort was easily gathered by Jack Walton.
In emphatic fashion, the Reds doubled their lead. A fantastic raking switch ball from Kitching found the marauding Williams on the right who controlled brilliantly in the path of the awaiting Phillips on the edge of the area. The Garstang-born playmaker made no mistake, rifling a half-volley into the top-right hand corner on the 33rd minute, opening his account in a Red shirt.
HALF-TIME: Bolton 0-2 Barnsley
Shortly after the break, Slobodan Tedic nearly punished an error from Trafford. A troubling ball over the top from the Reds forced the Whites’ ‘keeper to deal with the danger. His attempted clearance fell to Cole, who replicated Trafford’s wayward effort, allowing Tedic to hit a speculative shot goalwards. However, the strike lacked enough power to worry the recovering Trafford.
Kitching was once again involved in proceedings going forward for the Reds, keeping Trafford busy between the sticks. The cente-half received the ball in shooting range and opted to pull the trigger, producing a powerful, low left-footed strike that forced a smart stop from the home ‘keeper.
The hosts made three substitutions in an attempt to change their fortunes in the tie. Ian Evatt’s side began to become more prominent in the affair, but did little to threaten Jack Walton’s goal in the minutes after the changes.
It was a substitute that made the difference for the Whites, as Jon Dadi Bodvarsson crashed in a header at the back stick in the 80th minute. Gethin Jones swung in a ball from the right which found the Icelandic striker in the area and gave his side a foothold in the game.
The hosts were knocking on the door as the minutes ticked down, applying increasing pressure to the Reds’ backline. Elias Kachunga almost found the equaliser in the 89th minute, a knock-down allowing the attacker to fire acrobatically at goal. His effort however was always rising and found the stand behind the goal.
A split of cheers and groans were audible around the stadium as the fourth official showed seven minutes on the board.
The Reds almost killed off the affair in the fifth minute of added time. Substitutes Josh Martin, Ziyad Larkeche and Josh Benson broke away. Interplay allowed Larkeche to fire from inside the area, but his effort was wide of Trafford’s right-hand post.
The Reds did enough to hang on and progress to the Emirates FA Cup second round with victory on a grey afternoon in Greater Manchester.
FULL-TIME: Bolton 1-2 Barnsley
Walton, Williams, Edwards, Andersen, Kitching, Cadden (Larkeche), Kane (Benson), Connell, Phillips (Hondermarck), Tedic (Martin), Cole (Cundy).
Unused: Collins, Moon, Jalo, Aitchison.