A Chris O’Grady double and a superb strike from Ali Crawford saw Bolton Wanderers beat Manchester City under 21s 3-1 in the final Leasing.com Trophy group game at the University of Bolton Stadium.
However, the victory was somewhat soured by a late injury to Crawford who was taken off the field by stretchbearers with what appeared to be a knee injury.
James Weir returned to the starting line-up as manager Keith Hill named a strong side to take on their young neighbours.
And Wanderers didn’t have to wait too long to open their account for the evening when Crawford connected with Weir’s centre to send in a low shot into the far corner.
City had a chance to level up just seven minutes later but Henri Ogunby drilled his shot well wide of Remi Matthews’ goal.
The visitors evened matters through an unfortunate own goal from Yoan Zouma who diverted Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s cross beyond Matthews.
Wanderers tried to get their noses back in front moments later but Weir’s low shot from distance was well held by Daniel Grimshaw in the City goal.
Crawford capitalised on Daryl Murphy’s smart pass but the midfielder was unable to add to his tally as the ball went wide.
Zouma atoned for his earlier mistake by producing a last ditch sliding tackle to thwart Ogunby who was teeing up a shot.
Crawford and Murphy combined once again with the former driving just wide from 12 yards out.
Lewis Fiorini had two chances in quick succession but failed in each attempt to get the ball on target.
Another chance fell to Crawford after some good working involving Josh Emmanuel and Daryl Murphy but his effort went narrowly over the bar.
Wanderers were finishing the half strongly and looked determined to get back in front.
As the first half came to a close, Daryl Murphy was denied by Grimshaw as he ran on to a smart through ball.
Hill made a change during the interval with Dennis Politic replace Daryl Murphy.
But it was the visitors who were quickest out of the traps and Tyreke Wilson should have done better than the tame effort he sent wide of goal.
Cole Palmer then forced Matthews into making a good save after he cut away from Adam Chicksen.
At the other end, Emmanuel saw his shot cleared off the line by Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
The chance sparked Wanderers back into life and Sonny Graham, who had replaced Weir in the first half, saw his header held by Grimshaw.
Graham soon had another chance and his low drive went wide after he connected with a loose ball.
City survived a huge penalty shout after O’Grady appeared to be pole-axed by a challenge from Touaizi.
Zouma then met Crawford’s corner but his firm header was held by Crawford.
Wanderers then restored their lead through O’Grady whose emphatic volley gave Crawford no chance.
The lively Joe Dodoo hit a tunning efoort from distance but the ball went narrowly over the bar.
With a minute remaining, O’Grady’s second of the evening ended City’s hopes of getting something out of the game. It was another powerful finish from the big Wanderers forward.
Deep into injury time, Wanderer’ poor luck on the injury front struck again when Crawford went down before being stretchered off to a standing ovation.