There could be a new name on the EFL trophy this season as three former winners were knocked out on Tuesday.
Three of the semi-finalists had never reached the final of the competition, first played in 1984.
Aaron Pressley, on loan from Brentford, scored twice to help Accrington beat Lincoln while Plymouth beat Bristol Rovers and League Two Salford lost at Cheltenham.
Portsmouth lost to Bolton, who will be looking to win the trophy for a second time after their only victory in 1989.
Accrington needed penalties to defeat 2018 winners Lincoln. Skipper Tom Hopper put the Imps ahead after charging a kick from goalkeeper Lukas Jensen, but Pressley equalized before the break and completed the turnover with 17 minutes remaining after a foul on Shaun Whalley.
Hopper’s close-range header from Max Sanders’ deflected shot sent the tie on penalties, but the Imps – who lost on penalties in the 2021 semi-finals – saw Danny Mandroiu and Sanders denied by Jensen and Regan Poole miss the target, allowing Sean McConville to send Stanley into the last four, 3-1.
Twice-beaten runners-up Bristol Rovers made six changes and were well beaten by League One rivals Plymouth.
Argyle took the lead in the 24th minute with a looping header from Ben Waine and, although the New Zealand international missed some golden chances to increase his tally, Ryan Hardie broke free to double the advantage at the 32nd minute.
Rovers went 2-0 down at half-time to salvage a point in the Teams Championship game in October, but there was no repeat as Waine had a goal ruled offside while John Marquis fended off a glorious chance to set up a grandstand finish.
Salford, winners of 2020 and the last remaining side in League Two, withdrew to Cheltenham despite Callum Hendry giving them the lead on 13 minutes with an acrobatic finish after Luke Southwood parried Theo Vassell’s header.
At the other end, Alex Cairns tipped Alfie May’s thunderbolt to the crossbar, but Ryan Broom equalized just before the break and the tie was settled with two goals in 60 seconds just after the hour as Liam Sercombe struck from close range before playing Stoke. loaned Will Goodwin to score on his debut.
Bolton beat 2019 winners Portsmouth to take a game away from Wembley.
The hosts scored the only goal in the 17th minute through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, who finished on the break after good work from Dion Charles.
Bolton were denied a second on the stroke of half by Sean Raggett’s superb block on the Owen Beck line and although the 2020 losing finalists staged a late fightback, James Trafford denied Reeco Hackett-Fairchild a last-minute leveller.
The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Saturday January 14, with the matches taking place the week of February 20.