Crewe Alexandra suffered late heartbreak for the second consecutive weekend when Bolton Wanderers nicked a last minute winner at Mornflake Stadium.
David Artell’s men looked to have earned a hard-fought point when the game entered the last few seconds on a blustery afternoon. But Amadou Bakayogo popped up at the death to stab home the only goal of the game and give the Trotters all three points.
It was rough on the Railwaymen, who battled hard and went close through Bassala Sambou in particular when the scores were level. Now Crewe stay rooted to the bottom of League One after another cruel reverse. The manager made one change, giving Connor O’Riordan a rest and recalling Oliver Finney.
The first real chance arrived on 15 minutes when the second phase of an Alex corner was worked nicely on the left hand side and Tom Lowery picked his way past a couple of defenders on the byline.
He lifted the ball into the box and captain Luke Offord tried to poke it home but Bolton keeper James Trafford got a bit of fortune when the ball ran to his gloves. Sambou whipped in a low cross from the right side which was cut out by Trafford as the hosts pressed for an opener. After a substantial delay in which a member of the crowd received medical treatment, Bolton went close when Will Aimson looped a header just over the bar from a George Johnston cross.
On 42 minutes there were penalty appeals from Alex fans when a Finney cross appeared to strike a Bolton arm in the box, but referee Sam Purkiss waved it away.
There were 10 minutes added at the end of the first half but neither side had been able to generate enough quality to test either keeper. That was until the last moment when a Declan John free-kick brought a comfortable save from Dave Richards down to his near post.
On 49 minutes Richards was in action again, this time to deny Oladapo Afolayan who headed at goal from point-blank range.
A brave block from Josh Lundstram came to Crewe’s rescue as the Trotters pushed, then the post saved the hosts after Afolayan pulled the trigger from just inside the box. Dion Charles lifted one over on the turn as the away fans turned up the volume, while Chris Long dragged an effort wide during a Crewe foray forward just after the hour mark.
On 65 minutes Bolton skipper Ricardo Santos was next to try his luck but again Richards was equal to it.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes a long kick from Richards was misjudged by Santos and Sambou raced through. It was a big chance but his attempted lob was easy for Trafford to claim.
Another big block from Lundstram frustrated Kieran Sadlier on 82 minutes, but the killer blow came in the last minute.
Sadlier’s direct free kick was brilliantly pushed onto the post by Richards but Johnston fizzed it back across goal and substitute Bakayoko was on hand to ram home from close in.