The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Tom Black­ett

THE EFL may well have breathed a sigh of re­lief on Tues­day night as the Check­a­trade Tro­phy fi­nal will not be con­tested by two academy sides.

Af­ter all the flak the com­pe­ti­tion has taken this sea­son, two U21 sides meet­ing at Wem­b­ley could have been the fi­nal straw for crit­ics who say their introduction has made a mock­ery of it.

As it is, Swansea U21s are the last de­vel­op­ment side left in af­ter get­ting the better of

Wolves U21s 2-1, thanks to a dou­ble from Oli McBurnie. The Swans host Coven­try

City in the last eight af­ter the Sky Blues saw off

Brighton U21s 3-0 in the third round in front of a lit­tle over 2,000 fans at the Ri­coh Arena. Ruben Lameiras, Ge­orge Thomas and Ryan Haynes were on tar­get.

Last sea­son’s beaten fi­nal­ists, Ox­ford United, marched into the quar­ter­fi­nals with a 4-1 home win against Scun­thorpe, Kane Hem­mings hit­ting a hat-trick. They host Chel­tenham or

Brad­ford in the last eight. In a de­layed sec­ond round tie last Tues­day, Chel­tenham thrashed Le­ices­ter’s U21s 61, with Diego De Giro­lamo hit­ting a hat-trick. The Robins host Brad­ford in the third round on Tues­day night. Lu­ton ham­mered Ch­ester­field 4-0 to ease into the quar­ter-fi­nals, Jack Mar­riott scor­ing twice. The Hat­ters face Yeovil Town, who beat Read­ing’s U21s 4-2.

The Glovers shared the goals around, with Otis Khan, Fran­cois Zoko, Omar Sowunmi and a Jake Shep­pard own goal mak­ing up their tally.

Mans­field will face Wy­combe in the re­main­ing tie. Pat Hoban struck both as Mans­field beat Old­ham 2-0, while the Chair­boys squeezed through 5-4 on penal­ties af­ter a 1-1 draw at Black­pool.

The round three win­ners pock­eted £40,000 apiece.

The quar­ter-fi­nals take place in the week be­gin­ning Jan­uary 23, with £50,000 for the win­ners.

HAT-TRICK: Kane Hem­mings

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