Luton boss Rob Edwards believes his side will benefit from facing Premier League opponents in the next round of the FA Cup after making life difficult for themselves before overcoming League One Bolton 2-1 in Tuesday night’s third round replay.

Having been held to a goalless draw at Kenilworth Road nine days ago, Luton fell behind to Dion Charles’ 11th minute strike at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

But Tahith Chong swiftly equalised before Chiedozie Ogbene’s second-half goal set up a tie against the winners of Wednesday’s replay between Everton and Crystal Palace.

Luton avoided the upset but Edwards admitted his side had let their standards drop when facing lower league opposition.

“Tonight was all about winning,” Edwards said. “We weren’t at our best. We were a little bit sloppy in too many moments and probably allowed them to build and grow in the game a little bit.

“Credit to them, there was a little bit of sloppiness but overall I’m very, very pleased that we’re through.”

“I think in a way it’s better for us to play a Premier League team in the next round, we know we’re going to have to be full tilt. We dropped in the last two games and we can’t do that, we’ll get punished.

“Bolton are a big, big football club. But when we’re favourites I think we’ve taken our foot off the gas in certain moments and we can’t do that. We’re not good enough to do that.”

Bolton, two points off the top of League One with three games in hand, played with confidence and had chances to retake the lead before Ogbene struck, while also having a second-half strike from Charles ruled out for offside.

“It was a difficult night,” Edwards added. “It’s cup football and it was never going to be easy. They’re playing very well, they’re used to winning.

“It’s a cold night, snowing, the recipe is there for an upset, or for us to go out. I’m really pleased we found a way to equalise quickly.”

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence in memory of Iain Purslow, the 71-year-old Bolton supporter who died after being taken ill during Saturday’s League One match against Cheltenham, which was abandoned midway through the first half.

“I’m proud of the club and I’m proud of my team,” Bolton manager Ian Evatt said. “We wanted to pay him respect and to pay the family respect.

“It’s not about how we feel. It’s all about the family and their feelings. Hopefully now they get the time to mourn. We’ve paid our respects and I think they just need peace and quiet to come to terms with a really sad loss.

“I thought we started the game very fast and very well and got ourselves in front. Against Premier League opposition if you make mistakes you get punished and we made a couple tonight and they were punished. We would have liked to be in the lead a little bit longer and to stabilise it.

“In the second half I thought the team were outstanding for large spells and dominated against a very good team. I’ve watched a lot of Luton, they cause teams problems and tonight we caused them problems.

“It’s about trying to replicate that for the rest of the season and if we do that we’ll achieve our ambitions.”

Luton had to come from behind to see off League One Bolton at the second attempt as Rob Edwards’ side just about came through their FA Cup third round replay with a 2-1 win at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Having held their Premier League opponents goalless nine days ago, Bolton stunned the Hatters when Dion Charles put them ahead 11 minutes in.

But Tahith Chong swiftly equalised before Chiedozie Ogbene’s second-half goal set up a tie against the winners of Wednesday’s replay between Everton and Crystal Palace.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence in memory of Iain Purslow, the 71-year-old Bolton supporter who died after being taken ill during Saturday’s League One match against Cheltenham, which was abandoned midway through the first half.

The hosts then snatched an early lead as they hit Luton on the counter-attack.

Will Forrester’s pass forward found the run of Victor Adeboyejo, who skipped away from Teden Mengi before cutting the ball back for Charles, too easily getting goal-side of Reece Burke, to sweep the ball home.

But Luton needed only four minutes to equalise. Ross Barkley, taking his place in a strong Hatters XI which showed five changes from Friday’s 1-1 draw just up the road at Burnley, dispossessed Josh Dacres-Cogley just outside the Bolton box and Luton swiftly moved the ball left.

Jordan Clark played it through to Chong and the former Manchester United player tucked it through the legs of Forrester and into the far corner.

Luton remained on the front foot. Chong saw a shot deflected wide before Carlton Morris, Friday’s goalscorer, blazed wastefully over.

Four-time FA Cup winners Bolton, only two points from the top of League One with three games in hand, came into this replay unbeaten in six and looked confident any time they had a chance to attack.

Adeboyejo went for the audacious just before half-time, spotting Luton’s cup goalkeeper Tim Krul off his line and taking aim from the edge of the centre circle. Krul desperately back-pedalled, doing just enough to stop the ball under his crossbar before gathering at the second attempt.

Both sides went close in a frantic start to the second half. Paris Maghoma stung the palms of Krul before Luton went to the other end. Clark’s bouncing strike struck the post and both Chong and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu were denied by smart saves from Baxter before the danger was cleared.

Bolton responded immediately, and Barkley made a superb block to deny Charles from close range as he tried to turn in Adeboyejo’s cross.

It was Bolton’s best spell of the match but it came to an abrupt end in the 57th minute when Morris fired in a precise low cross from the left and Ogbene could hardly miss as he slammed home his first FA Cup goal.

Bolton thought they had levelled in the 74th minute when Barkley was caught in possession and Charles turned in a low cross from the right, but after a moment’s pause the offside flag went up and Luton safely saw the game out.

Bolton’s League One clash with Cheltenham was abandoned after 29 minutes due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

Referee Sunny Singh Gill took the players off the field just after 3.30pm as medical staff went to help the supporter.

The match was officially abandoned 30 minutes later.

Bolton said the fan had suffered a suspected cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital.

A club statement read: “A supporter in the East Stand suffered a suspected cardiac arrest around 30 minutes into the game at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

“The man was treated by medical staff and paramedics at the scene, while the two teams were taken off the pitch.

“Following sustained attempts to revive the patient, he was taken to the first-aid room at the stadium and the match was abandoned shortly after 4pm.

“The supporter was subsequently taken to hospital and the thoughts of everyone at Bolton Wanderers are with him and his family.

“An update on the supporter’s condition will follow.

“Details regarding a new date and ticket refunds/arrangements for the fixture will be released in due course.”

Cheltenham added: “Today’s fixture against Bolton Wanderers has been abandoned due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

“The thoughts of everyone at Cheltenham Town Football Club are with the individual involved and their loved ones at this time.”

The game was still goalless when play was halted. Kyle Dempsey had fired over for Bolton at one end while Cheltenham’s George Lloyd was denied by home goalkeeper Nathan Baxter.

Bolton ended the day still two points off the top of the table after leaders Portsmouth suffered a surprise home defeat, while Cheltenham remained three points from safety.

Bolton replaced Portsmouth as Sky Bet League One leaders, with top scorer Dion Charles scoring twice to help thrash struggling Exeter 7-0 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Grecians boss Gary Caldwell went into the contest boosted by backing from club directors and owners, but in-form Wanderers handed the Scot a reality check with an eighth successive win in all competitions – their biggest of the campaign.

Ian Evatt’s side laboured for 34 minutes to break the deadlock against the early-season leaders of the third tier.

But when Jack Iredale headed in from Charles’ cross, the outcome was never in doubt.

Striker Victor Adeboyejo doubled Bolton’s lead before half-time, netting for the first time in two months.

Caldwell used defender Cheick Diabate as a striker but his services may have been better deployed in a more familiar position.

Paris Maghoma made it 3-0 after 55 minutes before Northern Ireland international Charles took over.

His 12th and 13th league goals of the season came 11 minutes apart while substitutes Kyle Dempsey and Dan Nlundulu completed the rout late on.

One-time Bloomfield Road youngster George Thomason scored a spectacular 74th-minute winner to earn in-form Bolton a 1-0 Skybet League One win over Blackpool in front of 24,238 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

And Wanderers’ sixth successive win in all competitions was extra special for boss Ian Evatt who spent seven years as a player with the Seasiders, helping them into the Premier League.

Now, Evatt, who picked up a late booking, has sights set on taking the Trotters into the Championship.

But the home side were second best for large parts of the opening half. Karamoko Dembele curled a shot against a post after only three minutes as Neil Critchley’s team relished its task of trying to take down Bolton’s winning run.

However, the Trotters grew into the contest and Randell Williams hit the woodwork with a free-kick before forcing Dan Grimshaw into an unconvincing save.

Bolton, who had not previously beaten Blackpool in the league since 2014, remained in the ascendancy with Grimshaw twice denying top scorer Dion Charles.

CJ Hamilton squandered a great chance for the visitors after 69 minutes via James Husband’s cross before Thomason broke the deadlock with a rising left-

foot drive from 20 yards.

Shaun Maloney saluted two-goal marksman Charlie Wyke as Wigan wiped out their eight-point deduction inside four League One games after thrashing Bolton 4-0.

Wyke started and finished the scoring at Toughsheet Community Stadium with a Stephen Humphreys’ double sandwiched in between as Latics ended Wanderers’ 100 per cent start to the campaign in emphatic fashion.

The visitors’ third win of the season lifted them on to two points while Ian Evatt’s Trotters suffered a harsh reality check after four wins in all competitions.

“Every bit of credit goes to Charlie,” said Wigan manager Maloney of his frontman who had a defibrillator fitted after suffering a cardiac arrest in 2021.

“He came back on day one of pre-season in incredible condition. It was like signing a new player.

“What he has been through is well documented but he has put a lot of hard work in and continues to put hard work in.

“So, every bit of praise he gets is well deserved.”

Wigan’s eight-point deficit over wages payments had some fans fearing a second successive relegation, but the club’s flying start to the season has indicated a much brighter future.

“We came to terms with it (the deficit) in the summer,” added Maloney. “I understand why we got it, the situation the club was in.

“What was hard was how to broach it over the summer. We gave ourselves six games and we are obviously ahead of schedule.

“We could not have thought we would have this good a start. But I knew with the players we brought in and during pre-season, something was happening.”

Wanderers bossed possession and created 20 shots but rarely looked capable of getting back into the contest after Wigan’s Wyke-inspired start.

Wyke opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Humphrys’ brace in the 24th and 45th minutes made it 3-0 at the break.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt said: “There is an awful lot to take in. We can all be honest and say we didn’t see it coming.

“We have got to make sure this result doesn’t define our season which is crazy to say after just four games.

“For the first time though someone has punched us on the jaw and we didn’t recover. The game was gone before we knew it.

“It was one of those games where we lost every moment, lost every duel and just lost the basics of football.

“The ball seemed to fall to them every time but I am a firm believer you make your own luck

“On the day though Wigan played it was like a derby. We played like we were going to come and have everything our own way as we have done so far this season.

“The general performance wasn’t a 4-0 game. But they punished us on every moment and the first 10 minutes rocked us and we didn’t recover.

“Every time we looked like we were going to gain momentum we got punched on the jaw again.”

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