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Papa Johns Trophy

Papa John's Trophy Semi-Finalists confirmed!

The remaining four will battle it out for a place in the 2022 Papa John’s Trophy Final!

26 January 2022

Shoot-out saviours, milestone matchwinners and historic heroes.

The Papa John’s Trophy Quarter-Final concluded yesterday evening and with that, the four Semi-Finalists have been confirmed as Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic, Sutton United and Hartlepool United.

Our remaining teams are just one game away from the Wembley Final and here’s how they did it…

Harding strikes gold for Millers 

Rotherham United defender Wes Harding notched his first-ever goal as the Millers booked their place in the Papa John’s Trophy Semi-Final. The 25-year-old converted Will Grigg’s cut-back to find the back of the net for the first time in his career, as the hosts – who have now scored over 20 goals in the competition this season – went 1-0 up inside the first 10 minutes of the Quarter-Final tie against Cambridge United.

It was a lead that didn’t last past the first half, as Paul Digby levelled proceedings with five minutes until the half-time whistle. Unable to be separated in 90 minutes, the two teams took it down to a penalty shoot-out, which saw the Millers come out on top, 14 spot-kicks later.

However, it was Yellows goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov who scored the penalty of the evening after the shot-stopper stepped up to take one of his own. The Bulgarian blasted the ball into the roof of the net for Cambridge’s sixth spot-kick as the game went down to sudden death, but it was his opposite number Viktor Johansson who was the hero for the Millers on the night.

Latics starlet shines in Quarter-Final triumph 

As for Wigan Athletic starlet Divin Baningime, the 21-year-old didn’t have to wait quite as long to hear the net ripple. The forward, who made his debut in the competition in October 2017, scored the matchwinner for his hometown team as the Latics ground out a 1-0 win.

Leam Richardson’s side edged an Arsenal Under-21s side which featured youngster Charlie Patino, who scored on his Gunners debut in the Carabao Cup against Sunderland last month, to reach the Semi-Final.

Baningime, who took the place of Joe Bennett in the 73rd minute, opened his account for the Latics just 10 minutes later, breaking the offside trap and taking on two red shirts to slot home for the hosts.

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“It’s just a special moment. I’m just really happy right now. Being raised in Wigan, it’s a great feeling. I’m just happy that I can celebrate with the fans. I’ve been at Wigan since I was 10. Games like this I’ve been dreaming of as a child. To come on and score is a dream come true.”

Pools edge out Addicks

Hartlepool United engaged in a topsy-turvy 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic that saw the hosts extend their stay in the Papa John’s Trophy and make the Semi-Final, coming out on top 5-4 in the shoot-out.

Joe Grey opened the scoring for the evening in the seventh minute to hand the Pools an early advantage, before Mason Burstow equalised for the Addicks just 10 minutes later. Alex Gilby turned the scoreline on its head later in the first half with Charlton leading 2-1 until the final 15 minutes, when Luke Molyneux made it 2-2.

Sutton’s captain fantastic sees U’s through 

It was only fitting that it would be Sutton United captain Craig Eastmond to send the South Londoners through, with the skipper marking his 300th U’s appearance with a goal. Eastmond bagged the only goal of the game as Sutton edged Sky Bet League Two rivals Harrogate Town out of the Papa John’s Trophy at the Quarter-Final stage.

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The only Southern representative remaining, Sutton – still unbeaten in the competition – will march on the Semi-Final for the first time in the Club’s history, having never taken part in the Papa John’s Trophy prior to this season, after winning promotion to the EFL from the National League last year.

The North Yorkshire visitors to Gander Green Lane went down to an identical scoreline that Harrogate suffered earlier in the season when the two teams locked horns in the League. And the victory means that the U’s have now prevailed in four out of four of their previous meetings with the Sulphurites.

The Semi-Final draw will take place live on Sky Sports on Saturday 29 January. Both Semi-Final ties are scheduled for week commencing 7 March and are set to be broadcast live on Sky Sports.


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