Facing Bolton for the second time in a week, Andy Welsh’s side couldn’t recover from the 12 minutes of added time in which they conceded three goals.
Having proved a thorn in the City defence throughout the opening 45 minutes, Tom Eaves broke through on goal in the dying minutes of the first half, only to be felled by City keeper Gunnar Nielsen.
The challenge left Nielsen needing to be stretchered off and defender Ryan McGivern also needing to be replaced injured. Eaves restarted the game by shooting past substitute keeper Erik Johansen from the spot.
The visitors were two up moments later when the lively Topi Obadeyi found space in the box to double Bolton’s advantage and there was a third for the Trotters when Michael O’Halloran connected with Joe Riley’s through-ball.
Alex Nimely gave his side hope when he slotted home from Andrea Mancini’s pass, but the teams went in at half-time with the score-line at 3-1.
City’s luck got no better at the start of the second half as McGivern’s replacement Smith collided with an opponent and the stretcher was needed for a second time.
Second half chances came and went for both sides and though Mancini grabbed a late consolation for the Blues, they couldn’t find a way back.
On a tough night for Andy Welsh’s side, Israeli teenager Gui Assulin proved a major positive.