Ogbene pounces with second half winner as Luton see off Bolton in FA Cup replay

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FA Cup third round: Bolton Wanderers 1 Luton Town 2

A second half winner from Chiedozie Ogbene saw Luton edge past League One Bolton Wanderers at the second attempt in their FA Cup third round replay this evening.

The Hatters yet again made hard work of the tie, as following a first half in which they dominated, but went in all square, they were made to battle all the way after the break, eventually squeezing through to set up a clash with either Everton or Crystal Palace in 11 days time. Although five changes were made from Friday night's 1-1 draw with Burnley, boss Rob Edwards once again went strong, defender Reece Burke in for his first start since the 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest.

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Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Tim Krul, Carlton Morris and Tahith Chong all came in as well, Sambi Lokonga dropping out completely with Thomas Kaminski, Elijah Adebayo, Amari'i Bell and Andros Townsend all on the bench, joined by the fit-again Jacob Brown. Town made a bright start to the contest, clearly at ease with their new-look formation that saw Edwards opt for a back four, Burke on the right and Alfie Doughty over on the left.

Gabe Osho looks to get on the ball against Bolton this evening -pic: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesGabe Osho looks to get on the ball against Bolton this evening -pic: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Gabe Osho looks to get on the ball against Bolton this evening -pic: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

With Clark linking the play well through the middle, Town won a number of corners, as Bolton were able to clear Doughty's testing deliveries. Despite being on the back foot, the Trotters then took the lead with their first foray forward on 11 minutes as ball down the right had Teden Mengi screaming for offside against Victor Adeboyejo, nothing doing from the official.

He slipped when trying to challenge the Nigerian forward who burst into the box and found team-mate Dion Charles who clinically beat Krul to open the scoring. The enterprising Adeboyejo saw a blast fly off target, but Luton weren't behind for long, level on 15 minutes when the hosts were caught trying to play out from the back, Clark finding Chong and he steadied himself before rolling a very tidy finish beyond Nathan Baxter and into the corner.

With parity restored, Luton could look to resume their control of proceedings, which they did, Chong seeing his effort at getting a second fly wide via a deflection, as Morris went for power after being fed by Ross Barkley, getting too much on his left footer. Clark had a great chance to get on the scoresheet himself on 33 minutes, as his clever run was spotted by Ogbene whose pass prised open the visiting back-line but with Baxter narrowing the angle, he dragged wide when he had to at least test the keeper.

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Krul was able to keep his hands warm as the snow started to fall, gathering Paris Maghoma's hopeful attempt from range that flicked off a covering defender, gathering Adeboyejo's snapshot too as Bolton enjoyed a rare spell of pressure. Just before the break, Town almost conceded a quite sensational goal as Barkley of all people was dispossessed, Adeboyejo spotting Krul off his line, having a go from 45 yards, the Luton stopper just getting back to divert the ball away before it went in, gathering the ball just in front of the line too.

Town then went back up the other end, the space opening up for Clark, who could only shoot straight at Baxter. The break saw Luton bring on Ryan Giles and Bell for the already booked Mengi and Doughty, Krul needing two attempts to catch Paris Maghoma’s attempt.

One of Giles' first involvements then saw his cross cause danger, the ball rebounding to Clark who scuffed a volley into the ground and against the upright. It fell to Chong whose arrowed drive saw Baxter parry, the ex-Chelsea youngster then well positioned to prevent Mpanzu's rebound from finding the net as well.

An action-filled opening saw Bolton stride straight up the other end and it looked certain that Charles was about to make it 2-1, pulling the trigger from close range after more good work from Adeboyejo but Barkley slid in to make a quite stunning goal-saving challenge. With both sides clearly not wanting extra time, the open nature of the fixture carried on, as it was Luton who struck on 57minutes, Morris working some space on the left of the area to send in the most inviting cross for Ogbene to slam into the net from close range.

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Eager to put the game to bed, Mpanzu hammered a volley which Baxter got everything behind, but they never looked completely assured defensively, switching off to allow George Thomason a clean run through, his volley coming down with snow on.

With 17 minutes to go, Bolton thought they had a leveller when a ball in from the right was turned in by Charles for what looked like his second of the evening. Hatters keeper Kull clearly spotted an offside somewhere before it crossed the line though and went sprinting over to point it out to the assistant who after an age, raised his flag, which saw the goal chalked out, much to the annoyance of the home support.

Late on, Town eventually started to have some conviction to their defending, as they were able to enjoy far more possession and territory, ensuring they saw out five minutes of stoppage time to take their place in round four.

Trotters: Nathan Baxter, George Thomason, Ricardo Almedia Santos, Josh Sheehan, Dion Charles (Cameron Jerome 75), Josh Dacres-Cogley, Victor Adeboyejo (Jón Dadi Bödvarsson 75),Will Forrester (Jack Iredale 46), Eoin Toal, Paris Maghoma (Aaron Morley 81), Zac Ashworth. Subs not used: Joel Coleman, Kyle Dempsey, Luke Matheson, Ben Andreucci, Conor Lewis.

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Hatters: Tim Krul, Reece Burke (Jacob Brown 75), Teden Mengi (Amari'i Bell 46), Gabe Osho, Alfie Doughty (Ryan Giles 46), Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Ross Barkley, Chiedozie Ogbene, Jordan Clark (Elijah Adebayo 81), Tahith Chong (Andros Townsend 75), Carlton Morris (C). Subs not used: Thomas Kaminski, Dan Potts, Luke Berry, Cauley Woodrow. Referee: Thomas Bramall. Booked: Forrester 26, Mengi 30, Clark 64. Attendance: 10,878.