Battling Athletic roar into Trophy knockout stage

Date published: 31 October 2018

Athletic roared into the knockout stage of the Checkatrade Trophy thanks to a breath-taking comeback win against Everton under-21s.

Two-nil behind at the interval at a sparsely-populated Boundary Park, prospects looked bleak for Frankie Bunn’s side.

But goals from Peter Clarke, Ishmael Miller and Jonathan Benteke secured the three group stage points that sealed Athletic’s place in the next stage of the competition.

The visitors took the lead after Athletic failed to clear a free-kick.

Nathangelo Markelo lashed home from the edge of the box.

Nathan Broadhead then cut inside from the left and smashed a curling effort against the crossbar.

Christopher Missilou saw a shot cleared off the line, and Everton capitalised on that missed opportunity as Markelo whipped in a ball to Shayne Lavery who tapped into an empty net.

Athletic briefly rallied and Miller saw a shot cannon back off the post.

Skipper Peter Clarke was also denied by the woodwork.

Athletic got themselves back into the game at the start of the second half as Clarke bundled home from close range.

Bunn’s side were level five minutes later after Miller shrugged off the challenge of Morgan Feeney to slot home.

Benteke squeezed a shot home from a tight angle to give Athletic the lead, an advantage they would maintain with few further dramas.

Athletic are back in League Two action away at Stevenage on Saturday.

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