The current holders lead a dozen teams who have made it through to the Round of 16 in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy after the start of the knock-out phase.
A total of 13 games had been due to take place on Tuesday evening before the cancellation of the Accrington Stanley versus Lincoln City tie due to a frozen pitch, although the remaining twelve matches were all able to go ahead as planned.
Having lifted the trophy last season with victory against Plymouth, Bolton Wanderers moved a step closer to a return to Wembley with a home win against League 1 rivals Port Vale at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.
Despite making seven changes to the team that made it through to the FA Cup third round, Wanderers enjoyed a straight-forward 2-0 win, with Dion Charles and Carlos Mendes Gomes both netting as the club broke its existing record for goals scored in a calendar year.
Blackpool secured a spot in the next round after coming from behind to defeat Barnsley, who had gone into the Round of 32 with three wins from three in the group stages.
Barnsley took a first half lead thanks to John McAtee, but Owen Dale and Jake Beesley replied in the second half as the Seasiders progressed with a 2-1 victory.
A brace from James Collins and a second goal in as many games for Tyreece John-Jules saw Derby Countyprogress at the expense of Fleetwood Town with a comfortable 3-0 win.
Collins is one of the form players in the competition, having scored a hat-trick in the final round of ground games.
Doncaster Rovers were 3-0 winners as they defeated Nottingham Forest U21s thanks to goals from Luke Molyneux, Kyle Hurst and Joe Ironside, whilst the only other academy side to have made it to the knock-out stages in the Northern section also bowed out – with Liverpool U21s proving to be no match for a rampant Bradford City at Valley Parade.
Tyler Smith scored the opening goal early on for the home side, with Andrew Cook and Vadaine Oliver netting in the second half before Smith’s injury-time penalty completed a 4-0 victory.
The biggest crowd of the evening was at the STōK Cae Ras as Wrexham faced off against Burton Albion in front of nearly 5,000 fans.
An astonishing start to the game saw Deji Oshilaja put Burton ahead within seconds of kick-off and things quickly got worse for the Welsh side when Mark Helm fired home after three minutes to double the lead.
Sam Dalby got one back after five minutes with a fine strike from range but Liam McAlinden’s goal in the second half would prove to be decisive – enabling Burton to progress 3-2 despite a last minute reply from Jordan Davies.
The tie between Wigan Athletic and Stockport County takes place this evening.
Wycombe Wanderers earned a place in the last 16 after a five-goal thriller at Adams Park saw them progress at the expense of the Fulham U21 side.
Having been called into the starting eleven at the last minute, Dale Taylor put Wycombe ahead after 22 minutes and then made it 2-0 shortly before half-time – only for Fulham to respond in stoppage time thanks to Ollie O’Neill.
Chris Forino put Wycombe two clear when he fired home with just over ten minutes to go, before Jonathan Esenga’s deflected cross set up a tense finale.
MK Dons will go no further in the competition having suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to the Brighton & Hove Albion U21s.
The League 2 side introduced a number of youngsters into the starting line-up but it was the Premier League’s academy outfit that came out on top with Sammy Chouchance and Joe Knight putting Brighton two clear, and Ruairi McConville and Sahil Bashir adding late goals after MK Dons had been reduced to ten men.
A goal from Tyler Goodrham was the difference as Oxford United secured a 1-0 win at Forest Green Rovers to progress to the last 16, with Peterborough United knocking out Arsenal U21s at the London Road Stadium.
Ryan de Havilland’s first goal for the club and a strike from captain Jonson Clarke-Harris put the Posh into a 2-0 lead at half-time, with Malik Mothersille rounding out the scorers shortly after the break in 3-0 success.
Crawley Town came from a goal down against Bristol Rovers to earn a place in the draw thanks to second half goals from Jack Roles and Harry Forster, with the West Ham U21s being the second academy side to progress with a straightforward 4-0 win away at Colchester.
Ex-Colchester loanee Daniel Chesters opening the scoring for the Hammers in the first half, with George Earthy, Lewis Orford and England U20 international Divin Mubama rounding out the scorers.
Reading v Charlton and Portsmouth v AFC Wimbledon are the two remaining fixtures to come in the Southern section ahead of the Round of 16 draw, which will once again be regionalised.