The Trotters took the lead early on and although City grew into the game and dominated in the second half they couldn’t find the elusive equaliser to take the game to penalties.
Patrick Vieira’s men had a number of good first half chances and came agonisingly close in stoppage time, but in the end Bolton managed to hold on and lift the trophy in the Academy Stadium.
The first chance of the season for the EDS to clinch some silverware came as a result of their efforts last term. By a strange quirk of the fixture calendar, ten months elapsed between the semi-final and the final of the 2014/15 Manchester Senior Cup.
A very young City side saw off Bury FC in the last four in October 2014, but had to wait until the start of this season to face Bolton Wanderers for the right to be named Manchester Senior Cup Champions.
With a large squad at his disposal, Vieira named a much changed starting XI from the one that took to the field against Sunderland in mid week. Skipper George Glendon, Thierry Ambrose were the only survivors, with eight new faces coming in.
The headline news was a debut for new signing Aleix Garcia in the centre of the park, while the bench took on a rather youthful look with a trio of Jason Wilcox’s u18 side named for this showpiece encounter.
A much-shuffled side failed to gel in the first few minutes and it was the visitors who sprang out of the metaphorical traps to cause the defence problems from the very first minute. They had already put City under some pressure and won two corners by the time Quade Taylor had smashed home from another set piece to give Bolton the lead inside five minutes.
It might have been two almost immediately, but for the intervention of keeper Billy O’Brien with a smart stop at his near post, but after that the young Blues started to click into gear.
Glendon drew a good save after an excellent pass from Garcia, while only the trailing leg of a defender blocked an almost certain equaliser from Ambrose. Aaron Nemane, who worked tirelessly on the right wing had a penalty shout waved away after 20 minutes, while David Faupala probably should have done better with a free header but could only find the keeper’s gloves.
At the other end Bolton hit the sidenetting, but City came closest to the equaliser they deserved minutes before the interval – Nemane with a fantastic cross that fizzed across the face of goal begging for the slightest of touches that Faupala was inches away from heading into the back of the net.
Chances were harder to come by after half time – Celina’s powerful free kick flew into the keeper’s stomach, while City had another shot blocked as Bolton defended in numbers on the edge of the area.
Nemane’s attempted cross was deflected into the keeper’s arms as City dominated possession and territory but struggled to create clear chances against a determined and organised Bolton defence.
As the final whistle approached, City still surged forward and the keeper denied them twice in succession as the ball found its way through a crowded penalty area, but time was running out and Mathias Bossaerts headed wide in the dying seconds to close the contest.
Vieira will be hoping for a reaction from his players when they take on Norwich following the international break on 12 September.