Chris Eagles scores Bolton Wanderers' Cup winner against Swansea City

Owen Coyle could be forgiven for feeling sceptical about the supposed benefits of an FA Cup run. Bolton Wanderers' 5-0 semi-final evisceration by Stoke City in April preceded a harrowing run that spanned the majority of 2011 and yet the manager's enthusiasm remains intact. In a meeting of two clubs whose priority is Premier League survival, Wanderers' greater willingness than Swansea City's to target a competition that has displayed a cruelty to them was rewarded with a third successive victory.

Coyle emerged buoyed. "We had a great Cup run last year and we are delighted to progress," he said. After last week's stirring triumph against Liverpool, he believes there is a revival at the Reebok. "It was more than a win," he said. "We were excellent." On a day when stand-ins outnumbered regular starters, it was one of the normal choices, Chris Eagles, who took Bolton into the last 16, courtesy of an error from an understudy, Swansea's reserve goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel. He spilled a shot from one winger, Martin Petrov, into the path of another and Eagles spun to convert the rebound.

"There is no blame attached to him," Brendan Rodgers, his manager, said. "I feel I have the No1 goalkeeper in the Premier League [the rested Michel Vorm] and Gerhard offers support to him. We could have prevented the move."

Yet contrasting approaches were apparent, as he made 10 changes to Coyle's three. One of those Bolton introduced was to play a pivotal part. Darren Pratley spent five years in Wales before opting for Wanderers instead of Swansea in the summer. For much of the subsequent time, it appeared a dreadful decision. While Swansea have been lauded for progressive passing, he has failed to command a place in a losing Bolton team. "Darren's probably been a bit frustrated," Coyle said.

Rodgers said: "Maybe the move hasn't quite worked out how he wanted."

But a reunion had a restorative effect. Pratley's equaliser meant he belatedly opened his Bolton account. Having forged a reputation as a goalscoring midfielder at the Liberty Stadium, he could have had a hat-trick against his old employers.

Separated by eight months, some 250 miles and around 50 yards on the pitch, Pratley's last two goals could scarcely be more different. The common denominator is Swansea. Having scored from his own half for the Welsh club against Nottingham Forest, he struck against them from six yards, heading in Petrov's free kick. A subdued celebration followed. "He was very respectful to his former team-mates and fans, even though they [the supporters] were chanting: 'Pratley, what's the score?'" Coyle said.

Further opportunities to enhance his day arrived. Pratley headed Petrov's cross against the bar and intercepted Ashley Richards's misjudged back-pass, shooting narrowly wide. In addition, Tremmel had made first-half saves from David Ngog and Mark Davies. "There's no doubt we are very deserving winners," said Coyle, who confirmed he has not received, and would not welcome, an offer from Sunderland for his captain, Kevin Davies, but is interested in signing the Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

Swansea had led. Wayne Routledge put the ball in the Bolton net but was deemed offside, a decision Rodgers disputed. Then they scored a legitimate goal with what the manager called a world-class finish. After Luke Moore met Leroy Lita's flick, a blend of pace and power took him past David Wheater, and Adam Bogdan was defeated by a composed finish.

When Swansea trailed, Rodgers sent for reinforcements and they were inches from earning a replay. Danny Graham, who had scored at both ends when they met in October, struck the post. "I felt we deserved something," Rodgers said. Elimination, however, could prove a boon.

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