Lee Miller's 13th-minute strike sealed a 1-0 win for Carlisle United on a rain-soddened evening in Cumbria.
The 30-year-old striker bundled the ball home from close range early on, with Wanderers' best opportunities coming in the first half courtesy of Chris Eagles and Robert Hall.
Goalkeeper Andrew Lonergan and Tom Eaves were both named in Dougie Freedman's starting line-up against the Cumbrians.
Latest recruit and former Carlisle United loanee Jermaine Beckford was named on the bench for the Whites, likewise South Korean international Chung-Yong Lee.
With torrential downpour before kick-off, Wanderers created two early half chances through Tom Eaves and Eagles, but the pair failed to test United custodian Mark Gillespie.
Coinciding with the rain returning was the game’s first goal in the 13th minute with United taking the lead.
Speedy winger David Amoo utilised his pace by racing past full-back Tim Ream on the right hand side to direct a cross to the back post for Miller to squeeze the ball through Lonergan’s legs for the opener.
Midway through the first period, Wanderers came close to an equaliser when a well-worked set piece from 30-yards out culminated in Eagles curling a right footed effort goalwards which zipped just past the left-hand post.
Tyrone Mears, an outlet for Wanderers on the right side, created Bolton’s next opportunity winning a free-kick 20-yards from goal. An in swinging cross-cum shot from Hall was tipped over the bar by Gillespie as the Whites began to find their feet.
Hall’s impressive pre-season was continuing, proving to be a nuisance down the right side. Cutting inside from the right flank, the former Birmingham City loan man fired a powerful left-footed strike goal bound for Gillespie to tip away for a corner.
Into the second half and Bolton made three changes, Jan Gregus, Keith Andrews and David Wheater on for Medo Kamara, Zat Knight and Darren Pratley.
After a quiet start to the second period for both sides, Wanderers altered their team further with Beckford coming on for his debut, replacing Eaves. Youngster Chris Lester and Lee also came on for Freedman’s side in the 62nd minute for Eagles and Hall.
Beckford looked lively immediately after his introduction to the Brunton Park crowd, and nearly nipped in on goal after a through ball from Ream, however Gillespie was on hand to beat away.
Teenage winger Lester linked up well with Beckford five minutes later and hit an ambitious volley, but Wanderers’ number 39 couldn’t get any swerve on the strike, resulting in an easy collection for the goalkeeper.
The weather was certainly playing its part, with chances few and far between for both sides. The final effort on goal came with two minutes remaining when Carlisle sub Mark Beck headed wide from close range, but United held on to their slender lead to claim the win.
Wanderers will be back in action on Friday night as they host La Liga outfit Real Betis at the Reebok Stadium, kick-off 8pm.
Carlisle Utd: Gillespie, Potts, Edwards, Livesey, James, Amoo (Gillies 77), Thirwell (Noble 65), Berrett (Beck 77), Robson, Guy (Lynch 77), Miller (Symington 77).
Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Mears, Ream, Mills, Knight (Wheater 46), Pratley (Gregus 46), Hall (Lester 62), Eagles (Lee 62), Eaves (Beckford 62), Kamara (Andrews 46), C Davies.
Attendance: 1,691 (251 away fans)