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Papa Johns Trophy

All you need to know ahead of the Papa Johns Trophy Quarter-Final

10 January 2023

The Quarter-Final of the Papa Johns Trophy beckons and it’s time to take a look ahead to the final four fixtures taking place this week…

Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley

Former winners of the competition Lincoln City host Accrington Stanley at Sincil Bank first up on Tuesday night but who will come out on top?

Route to the Quarter-Final 

After topping Northern Group E with six points, courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Barnsley in their opening fixture and a 2-0 win against Newcastle United Under-21s, the Imps progressed to the knockout stages. In the Round of 32, Lincoln saw off Morecambe 4-3 on penalties. And an entertaining six goal thriller between the Imps and Everton Under-21s saw Mark Kennedy’s men run out 4-2 winners over the young Toffees.

In Accrington’s case, Stanley placed second in Northern Group D, drawing with Rochdale – whom they overcame 4-3 on spot-kicks – and Salford City – where they slipped to a loss on penalties., and beating Liverpool Under-21s 3-2. A 1-0 win over Grimsby Town took John Coleman’s side to the Round of 16, coming from behind to beat Burton Albion 4-2 and reach the Quarter-Final.

Ones to watch

On-loan attacker Jack Diamond has certainly seized his opportunity to shine Imps this year during a season-long spell from Sunderland, and he has played his part in getting them to the Quarter-Final with a double against Everton Under-21s in the last round.

Four goals in his last five outings in the competition puts Stanley midfielder Tommy Leigh among the competition’s top scorers and he’ll be looking to cement his place at the top of the leader board against Lincoln.

Bolton Wanderers v Portsmouth 

Both Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth will be ready and raring to go ahead of the Quarter-Final at the University of Bolton Stadium and it promises to be a tasty tie.

Route to the Quarter-Final

Ian Evatt’s side have registered some big wins in the competition this year. Bolton placed first in Northern Group B with a 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra and a 3-0 triumph over Leeds United Under-21s. However, it was a slightly tighter affair in the Round of 32 when the Trotters edged out Barrow in a 3-2 victory, followed by a resounding 4-0 win over local rivals Manchester United Under-21s in the Round of 16.

Securing second place in Southern Group B with a 5-0 win over Aston Villa Under-21s and victory on penalties over AFC Wimbledon, Pompey defeated high flying Ipswich Town 2-0 in the Round of 32. And a 3-0 win over Stevenage in the Round of 16 booked Portsmouth’s place in the Quarter-Final.

Ones to watch

On target in the Round of 16, Dapo Afolayan also made the scoresheet against Barrow for the Trotters and he could be crucial to breaking through the Pompey defence and finding a way through.

Leading the line for Pompey, Colby Bishop is yet to open his account for Portsmouth in this particular competition, but has already reached double figures elsewhere, making the forward eager to get off the mark in the Papa Johns Trophy.

Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle 

Two teams that have already met in the competition this season, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle are no strangers, but this time, there’s a place in the Semi-Final at stake on when the Pilgrims pay a visit to the Memorial Stadium.

Route to the Quarter-Final

Four wins in their last five in the competition saw Bristol Rovers to the Quarter-Final, including a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace Under-21s and 3-0 victory against Swindon Town to finish runners-up in Southern Group E. After beating Colchester United 2-1 in the Round of 32, Joey Barton’s side eased past MK Dons with a 4-1 triumph in the Round of 16.

Plymouth’s impressive league form has translated into the Papa Johns Trophy this term, taking eight points from a possible nine in Southern Group E, beating Bristol Rovers on penalties, and securing a 3-1 win over Swindon and a 1-0 victory over Palace. The Pilgrims saw off Charlton athletic in a 3-2 win in the Round of 32 before coming back from a 3-0 deficit against AFC Wimbledon to draw 3-3 and advance on penalties sin the Round of 16.


Ones to watch

John Marquis bagged a brace in a confident showing over MK Dons as Bristol Rovers made it through to the Quarter-Final and the Gas striker is hoping to go one step further this year, having reached the Final of the competition previously with Portsmouth. 

Hat-trick hero Sam Cosgrove helped Plymouth come back from the brink against the Dons in the Round of 16, notching a second-half treble in the space of 15 minutes, before slotting away his spot-kick in the shoot-out. 

Cheltenham Town v Salford City

Salford City tasted victory for the first time at Wembley Stadium in the Papa Johns Trophy but can they do it again? Cheltenham Town are also vying for a place in the Semi-Final as the two teams go head-to-head on at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.

Route to the Quarter-Final

Finishing second in Southern Group C, with 2-1 wins over MK Dons and Walsall to help Cheltenham through to the knockouts, it would be penalties to decide who would progress in the Round of 32 as the Robins edged Forest Green 2-1 on spot-kicks. But it was the Round of 16 where the Robins came into their own, registering a 4-0 win over Chelsea Under-21s.

Riding high at the summit of Northern Group D with a 2-1 triumph over Liverpool Under-21s and shoot-out victories against Accrington and Rochdale, Salford remain unbeaten in this year’s competition to date. A 1-0 win against league rivals Bradford City saw the Greater Manchester Team through to the Round of 16 and an identical 1-0 victory over Port Vale helped them to reach the Quarter-Final.

Ones to watch

The Round of 32’s star man Ryan Broom put in a standout shift for the Robins as they ousted Forest Green Rovers from the competition, and the midfielder will be hoping to impress once again.

Salford skipper Ibou Touray will provide leadership qualities at the back for the Ammies, who have recorded back-to-back clean sheets in the competition, and will be eyeing another against Cheltenham.


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