Bolton Wanderers' Under-23s fortified their position at the summit of the Professional Development League (North) after a second-half strike from trialist Chinedu Obasi defeated neighbours Burnley at Macron Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Nigerian had only been on the field for a matter of minutes as his adept finish proved to be too clinical for visiting keeper Conor Mitchell.
The win puts David Lee’s men on 38 points – three ahead of Sheffield Wednesday with both teams having played 21 games.
Wanderers had the better of the first half with wing back Joe Muscatt forcing saves out of Mitchell, who was by far and away the busier of the two keepers.
Jan Kirchhoff, who was also on trial, headed straight into the arms of Mitchell after latching onto Jon Flanagan’s free-kick after Jack Earing was fouled.
Liam Morris then hit a full blooded shot from distance with his left peg which prompted Mitchell into diving at full stretch to keep the industrious midfielder out.
The hosts were cranking up the pressure and Harry Charsley flashed just wide moments later.
Morris went close again with another strike from distance before Jake Turner, in the Wanderers goal, was called into action to collect Jamie Thomas’ well-struck free-kick.
Connor Hall, whose customary diligence was a constant thorn in the Burnley side, had the Clarets’ defence on their toes just before the break when he thundered into the penalty box only to place the ball narrowly wide.
Not long after the break, Hall had a looping header cleared off the line by Frank Jones.
Chances were few and far between but the game turned when Obasi, who had earlier replaced Kirchhoff, expertly placed his strike beyond Mitchell to give the hosts a deserved victory.
Bolton: Turner, Flanagan, Muscatt, Edwards, Mitchell, Brockbank, Morris, Kirchhoff, Hall, Charsley, Earing
Substitutes: Rose, Aspinall, White, Obasi, Jones-Griffiths