Posted by Admin - Fri 11th August 2017 3.39PM
Crewe Alexandra 1 Bolton Wanderers 2
By William Kirkpatrick
Wanderers travelled to Crewe for the first round of the EFL Cup, having not won a game in the competition since 2014 – the year they were eventually knocked out in the third round by Chelsea.
As a result, Bolton fans took this game with a pinch of salt, especially so when they saw a much-changed line-up from the one that played Leeds three days earlier.
Manager Phil Parkinson gave seven players their first starts in a Bolton shirt, including new signings Mark Little, Will Buckley, Antonee Robinson, Aaron Wilbraham, Adam Armstrong and Reece Burke as well as youth graduate Jack Earing.
Chances for Bolton to take the lead in the first half were few and far between. Crewe looked the most lively, albeit the best of a bad bunch.
Just before half-time, Crewe sparked some life into the game when a whipped-in cross wasn't dealt with and found the head of Chris Porter who scored from close range.
A triple substitution that saw Karacan, Madine and Morais feature changed the game as Bolton became a threat in front of goal.
Some beautiful play between Buckley and Robinson split open the defence before Buckley's back heel found Armstrong who placed the ball in for his first Bolton goal.
Morais comes into this season after a brilliant campaign prior which saw him register 13 assists in 19 games. On his return he set up Bolton’s winner, Derik Osede connecting with to a cross for his first goal in a Wanderers shirt.