Wanderers' adventure in the FA Cup for the 2010/11 season came to an end at the semi-final stage after they were beaten 5-0 by Stoke City at Wembley.
On a day when no luck whatsoever was with Owen Coyle's troops, Stoke produced a clinical display of finishing to seal their place against Manchester City in the final.
Stoke were three goals ahead at the interval following Matthew Etherington and Robert Huth's long-range efforts and Kenwyne Jones' tidy finish.
And Jonathan Walters netted a double after the interval to book the Potters' return visit to the national stadium in four weeks time.
Ahead of kick-off, Owen Coyle made two changes to the team that beat West Ham United eight days earlier. Paul Robinson regained his place at left-back after sitting out the previous two matches, while Ivan Klasnic came into the forward line with Daniel Sturridge cup-tied.
Wanderers, backed by 27,000 supporters, got off to a decent start as they peppered Thomas Sorensen's goal with two early efforts. Gary Cahill smashed a half-volley just over the bar from the edge of the box and Johan Elmander, again deployed in central midfield, forced the Stoke goalkeeper into a good low save.
But as it was, the Potters took the lead with just 12 minutes on the clock. Matthew Etherington was the man who got the goal, beating Jussi Jaaskelainen from 25 yards out after Paul Robinson's pass had been intercepted.
And only six minutes later Stoke found themselves two goals ahead when Robert Huth's half-volley crept past Jaaskelainen's left-hand. A high ball into Bolton's box was headed clear by Cahill but the German defender picked up on the scraps and drilled into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box.
Thomas Sorensen held a deflected Klasnic attempt as Bolton attempted to half the deficit, however fortune was against Owen Coyle's men once more as Stoke raced into a 3-0 on the half-hour mark.
The rub of the green just wasn't with Bolton, as this time the Staffordshire-based club made the most of Martin Petrov losing possession on the halfway line. Jermaine Pennant carried the ball down the right wing before playing in a well-weighted ball to Kenwyne Jones, who took a touch before sliding past Jaaskelainen.
In all honesty, Stoke hadn't carved out too many opportunities in the first 45 minutes but whatever chances they had they took.
Owen Coyle made two changes at the break as he sought a way of getting his team back into the tie. Martin Petrov and Ivan Klasnic were replaced by Matt Taylor and Mark Davies, while Elmander was shifted forward to partner the skipper in attack.
Both teams shared possession as the minutes ticked by at the start of the second half. Mark Davies was edged out of space after embarking on a slaloming run through midfield and Gretar Steinsson headed wide from a corner.
Equally, Jones came close to grabbing his second of the afternoon on no less than three occasions; firstly through a header which was saved well by Jaaskelainen, secondly when Robinson put his body on the line to make a crucial block and thirdly when the Trinidad international miss-hit a close-range follow-up.
Wanderers knew for sure that it wasn't going to be their afternoon when Jonathan Walters capped-off a mazy run from midfield midway through the second half. The former Bolton striker picked up possession on halfway before cutting inside and finding the far corner of the net with a precise curling finish.
Despite the scoreline, Bolton continued to push forward and Coyle's final substitution saw Rodrigo replace Muamba. And not long after, Sorensen produced his finest save of the afternoon to beat away Taylor's effort at the near post.
Stoke's final goal of the afternoon arrived in the 82nd minute as Walters completed his brace with a close-range finish at the far post. Jones found space inside the box, Delap sliced his shot but, fortunately for the Potters, the number 19 pounced to convert inside the six-yard box, with the ball taking a deflection up and over Jaaskelainen.
The goal typified the contrasting fortunes of both clubs on the afternoon. It just wasn't meant to be for Bolton, who now have six matches left to secure their highest position in the Premier League for four seasons.
Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Steinsson, Petrov (Taylor 46), Elmander, Muamba (Rodrigo 73), Chung-Yong, Kevin Davies, Klasnic (Mark Davies 46). (Subs not used: Bogdan, Cohen, Alonso, Wheater)
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant (Whitehead 78), Delap, Whelan, Etherington (Pugh 88), Jones (Fuller 85), Walters (Subs not used: Nash, Diao, Carew, Faye)