Bolton Wanderers Under-23s were beaten 3-0 by Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Monday afternoon.
Goals from Louis-Michel Yamfam, Joshua Umerah and Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu condemned the young Whites to their first defeat since late February.
Despite the loss, David Lee’s side remain top of the Professional Development League North standings, two points ahead of second-placed Sheffield Wednesday with three matches remaining.
Without 20-goal striker Connor Hall and England youth international Jake Turner in between the sticks, Bolton gave a good account of themselves in the first half but lived to rue their missed chances.
The visitors started on the front foot and carved their first opening which came in the 18th minute when Jordan Allen flashed his shot wide of the post following an impressive free-kick routine.
Ryan White squandered another opportunity to take the lead shortly after, peeling away from his marker and sending his half-volley off target.
Liam Morris and Luca Navarro also spurned chances, with Navarro’s effort forcing Charlton goalkeeper Jordan Beeney into a smart save.
It was the home side that broke the deadlock, though, when the lively Yamfam outmuscled Will Hartshorne and found the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Wanderers responded well to going a goal down and created numerous opportunities, with the unmarked Dennis Politic shooting wide at the back post and Jack Earing stinging Beeney’s fingertips.
The young Whites failed to capitalise in front of goal and Charlton punished them after the break.
Umerah volleyed home from a corner midway through the second half, before Sarpong-Wiredu added a third late on.
Bolton are next in action against Colchester United at Leyland on Monday 16 April, as they look to extend their lead at the top of the table and clinch a play-off spot.
Bolton: Aspinall, Johnson, Lonsdale, Hartshorne, Brockbank, Morris, Politic, Earing, Navarro, Allen, White.
Subs: Jones-Griffiths, James, C Moore, N Moore, Brown