City's Elite Development Squad lost their opening game of the season tonight, but left Bolton with their heads held high.
A young City side found themselves 2-0 down after just 14 minutes in the Manchester Senior Cup tie, but fought valiantly against a very experienced Wanderers side.
Owen Coyle fielded a side packed with first-team stars and experience while the Blues' starting XI had just one player with senior experience.
With Ivan Klasnic, Andy O'Brien, Danny Shittu and Sean Davis included in a stellar Wanderers side, it was no surprise when the hosts raced into an early lead, courtesy of goals from O'Halloran (8 mins) and Ward (14 mins).
But rather than buckle under the pressure, City kept their cool and created several half chances for Harry Bunn - a late replacement for John Guidetti who had to withdraw prior to kick-off - but the youngster couldn't find the target.
After the break, the lively Bunn showed his promise by giving Shittu and O'Brien a difficult evening before being replaced on 80 minutes by Juan Ole Roman - and it was the sub who finally helped City pull a deserved goal back a minute from time.
Roman's chip struck the underside of the bar and Jeremy Helan scrambled home the rebound to give Andy Welsh's side a glimmer of hope. And almost straight from the kick off, Scott Kay broke through only to squeeze his shot narrowly wide.
City: Gozalez, Logan, Chantler, Wabara, Mee, Veseli (Abou 60), Elabdellaoui, Kay, Benali, Bunn (Roman 80), Helan