Nerves were starting to fray at the Lane as we’d dominated the visitors but couldn’t find a way past outstanding goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
But those nerves were gone once Ryan looped home his header from Rafa van der Vaart’s corner – and goals from Gareth Bale and Louis Saha secured the semi-final slot against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, April 15.
Ryan has made quite an impact within the squad since his transfer window arrival.
“He’s a great professional and coming straight into the team wouldn’t have been easy because he hasn’t played too much football this season,” said Ledley, who captained the team against Bolton in his first domestic cup outing since, ironically, Bolton away in the FA Cup in February, 2010.
“He fitted in straight away, showed his quality and added a lot to the squad.
“He came up with a great header against Bolton and lifted a few nerves around the stadium. From there, we got the second quickly and looked comfortable.”
Our longest-serving player, Ledley knows all about the club’s tradition in the FA Cup and proudly lifted our last trophy at Wembley after the League Cup win against Chelsea in 2008.
“It’s great to be going back to such a fantastic stadium and such an occasion against Chelsea,” added Ledley, who has now started 20 matches this season.
“We know all about the club’s tradition in the FA Cup and it feels good to be going back there for another semi-final.”
The New Zealand skipper headed home the crucial opening goal in the 75th minute of Tuesday night’s FA Cp quarter-final against Bolton.