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Papa Johns Trophy

Preview the Papa John’s Trophy Quarter-Final

A place in the Semi-Final is up for grabs tonight!

25 January 2022

Eight teams; four places in the Semi-Final up for grabs – it’s the Papa John’s Trophy Quarter-Final, beginning tonight!

How are tonight’s ties shaping up? It’s time to take a look at how our Quarter-Finalists got this far…

Hartlepool United v Charlton Athletic 

Having placed second in their respective Group Stages, with Hartlepool United finishing runners-up to Carlisle United in Northern Group A and Charlton Athletic coming second to Leyton Orient, the Pools and the Addicks have both been on the right side of impressive wins to reach the Quarter-Final.

Tonight’s hosts recorded a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Sky Bet League One opposition Sheffield Wednesday to reach the Round of 16, where a late winner against Bolton Wanderers saw the Pools through to the Quarter-Final. However, Hartlepool will be without matchwinner and the competition’s top scorer Matty Daly, who returned to parent team Huddersfield Town.

As for the Addicks, victories against Aston Villa Under-21s in Round Two and an even later last-gasp winner against Milton Keynes Dons have paved their way to the Quarter-Final, and manager Johnnie Jackson is more than up for a trip to Wembley this year…

Rotherham United v Cambridge United

After putting in a dominant display to place first in Northern Group E and progressing to Round Two of the competition, Rotherham United’s route to the Quarter-Final hasn’t been an easy one.

The Millers overcame Port Vale in a penalty shoot-out to reach the Round of 16 before facing off against Crewe Alexandra. Paul Warne’s side came from behind to beat the Alex 4-2 in a hard-fought, six-goal thriller as Joshua Kayode bagged first professional goal in Rotherham colours.

Similarly, Cambridge United came out on top in Southern Group H before drawing Walsall in Round Two; the Yellows struck either side of the break to edge out the Saddlers from the Papa John’s Trophy. A Round of 16 victory over Portsmouth saw Mark Bonner’s men through to the Quarter-Final.

And back-to-back Player of the Round awards, with Kai McKenzie-Lyle and Harvey Knibbs named the standout performers for Round Two and the Round of 16 respectively, put the Yellows in strong contention for a place in the Semi-Final.

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Wigan Athletic v Arsenal U21

Wigan Athletic’s road to Quarter-Final has been something of a local affair. The Latics placed second in Northern Group C, with a derby double-header awaiting in the subsequent knockout stages. Leam Richardson's side defeated Accrington Stanley on penalties, after the clash finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, before running out 6-0 winners in an emphatic victory over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.

As the only remaining Category One Academy in the competition, Arsenal Under-21s secured their place in Round Two, finishing second in Southern Group F. The young Gunners came back from a two-goal deficit against Ipswich Town, finding the back of the net twice in the space of three minutes to rescue a draw and, eventually, progress on penalties.

The Emirates Stadium played host to the Round of 16 clash as Kevin Betsy’s side went head-to-head with Premier League rivals Chelsea Under-21s, cruising through to the Round of 16 in a 4-1 triumph.

Sutton United v Harrogate Town

Sutton United’s first taste of the Papa John’s Trophy has whet Matt Gray’s side’s appetite for more and the EFL newcomers will be eyeing a place in the Semi-Final this evening with the visit of Harrogate Town. After topping Southern Group B, Sutton have ousted Stevenage and Colchester from the competition to reach the Quarter-Final.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Town – who were beaten by Sutton in the Sky Bet League Two earlier in the campaign – came through Northern Group H, finishing three points behind Sheffield Wednesday in second place. Wins over Tranmere Rovers in Round Two and Carlisle United in the Round of 16 have earned the Sulphurites a place in the Quarter-Final.

Follow @PapaJohnsTrophy on Twitter to keep up with all the action.

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