First-half goals book a place in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round draw...
BOLTON 1 (Pratley 81), UNITED 2 (Doukara 9, Diagouraga 40)
Bolton team: Amos, Vela, Dervite, Holding, Moxey, Trotter, Pratley, Davies (Spearing 69), Feeney, Wellington (Woolery 69), Madine. Subs: Rachubka, Derik, Dobbie, Twardzik, Walker.
Leeds team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Bamba (Coyle 89), Taylor, Cook (Adeyemi 90+1), Bridcutt, Diagouraga, Dallas, Doukara, Antenucci (Carayol 86). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Sloth, Murphy, Erwin.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Booked: Vela (Bolton), Diagouraga (United)
Att: 17,336 (6,630 United)
The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie away to Bolton Wanderers saw United head coach Steve Evans make three changes from the team that drew 1-1 at Brentford earlier in the week. Captain Sol Bamba returned to the heart of defence in place of the injured Liam Cooper, while Toumani Diagouraga replaced Luke Murphy in midfield for his full Leeds debut and Mirco Antenucci came in for the injured Chris Wood in attack.
The hosts, who were attacking towards United’s biggest away following of the season so far, had the afternoon’s first sight of goal through striker Gary Madine, but Marco Silvestri was able to comfortably hold his effort on the turn from the edge of the area.
Darren Pratley then skied a first-time effort after meeting Liam Feeney’s cut-back on the edge of the area, before Lewis Cook had United’s first attempt on goal at the opposite end with a curling effort which Wanderers’ keeper Ben Amos clutched just underneath his crossbar.
The frantic start to proceedings showed no signs of letting up and United found a way through after just nine minutes, Souleymane Doukara continuing his fine form in front of goal with a low effort which crept beyond Amos after latching onto Stuart Dallas’ pin-point through ball.
The hosts will feel they should have pulled themselves level three minutes later, though, as Madine smashed over from close-range after muscling his way onto the ball in front of goal.
A brief spell of Bolton pressure followed, with United forced to defend deep to clear a series of deliveries into the area, before Dallas threatened a second with a strike which sailed well over after skipping away from his marker inside the Bolton box.
United had a golden opportunity to double the advantage after 25 minutes following a swift break up-field led by Cook. The midfielder cut inside but opted not to shoot as space opened up for him, instead threading the ball out wide to Antenucci inside the area, who forced a superb one-handed save from Amos at his near post to turn the low strike behind.
The advantage was deservedly doubled on the 40th-minute mark and it was the full debutant, Diagouraga, who wheeled away in celebration after meeting Antenucci’s cutback to calmly tuck away his first goal for the club from inside the area.
The second period started in a similar manner to the first, with end-to-end attacks making the tie an enthralling watch. United were first, with Taylor just scuffing his strike after being found unmarked at the back post by Cook following another breakaway, before Madine found himself crowded out inside the opposite area as his close-range effort was turned behind.
United were inches away from adding a third on the hour mark as another flowing counter-attack carved apart the Bolton defence, only for Scott Wootton to smash agonisingly over the bar after being teed up on the edge of the area by Dallas.
Leeds were looking increasingly comfortable as the game progressed and Amos was again called upon to tip a speculative Giuseppe Bellusci free-kick over the bar from distance.
Bolton did threaten to pull one back, though, as Liam Feeney worked his way into the area before smashing well over the bar from an acute angle, before Bellusci heroically launched himself in the way of Darren Prately’s ferocious half-volley.
But Pratley did manage to find a way through nine minutes from time after a corner fell into his path to hammer the ball emphatically into the roof the net at the back post and set up a nervy finale.
And the home fans thought their side had snatched a replay with three minutes remaining, only to see Madine clip the outside of the post from inside the area after Silvestri had pushed Pratley’s initial strike into his path.
United held firm during four minutes of added time, though, and did enough to book a place in Sunday evening's Fifth Round draw.