Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s double helped Wanderers put an emphatic stamp on the group stages at Stockport County. 

Not for seven years has a Bolton side registered seven straight victories in a row – but that is where Ian Evatt’s team stand as they strolled into the international break firing on all fronts. 

Icelander Bodvarsson produced his best moments of the season so far with two superbly-taken goals in the first half.  

Evatt – who was suspended and watching from the stand – might have shifted uneasily at some of his team’s finishing in the second period but a result which guarantees them a home game at the start of December in the knockout round was never in any doubt. 

Wanderers made six changes from the team that beat Blackpool, with Luke Matheson, Jack Iredale, Dan Nlundulu, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Aaron Morley and Joel Coleman coming in for Nathan Baxter, Victor Adeboyejo, Eoin Toal, Dion Charles, Josh Sheehan and Josh Dacres-Cogley. 

Stockport, who had racked up their 13th straight win at Swindon at the weekend, made 11 alterations to their starting line-up. And with great respect to the Hatters, who defended manfully, they were played off Edgeley Park in the first half. 

Time and time again, Wanderers exploited space down the right side of the pitch, pocket rocket Matheson linking up with Gethin Jones and providing a constant threat.  

On the opposite flank, Randell Williams was withdrawn early – seemingly through injury – and replaced by Josh Dacres-Cogley, who had himself looked ready for a rest when he left the pitch on Saturday. 

Bolton’s crisp football through midfield laid Stockport bare on a few occasions before they managed to open the scoring. Kyle Knoyle made a goal-saving block on Paris Maghoma,  

Thomason then threaded one through for Bodvarsson, with his shot blocked by some brave defending by Neil Byrne. 

If the Hatters had one chance to turn the game, it was Alfie Pond’s free header 20 minutes in, which skidded wastefully wide into an empty Railway End – usually the site of the away support. 

Not long after that, Bolton seized complete control of the game. Maghoma drove the ball straight through the middle of the pitch and played a pass through for Bodvarsson, who made his calm finish into the bottom corner look easy. 

Home keeper Jordan Smith made two big saves to keep Stockport in it – first from Thomason’s snap shot, then another brave one at the feet of Dacres-Cogley, who had chased on to some great link-up play from Nlundulu inside the penalty box. 

But Smith couldn’t stem the tide forever, and another incisive break from Maghoma put Bodvarsson through the middle again, the Icelander this time producing a cheeky chip over the advancing Smith for his second of the night. 

Firmly in the driving seat, Wanderers just had to play a sensible game in the second half. Bodvarsson was withdrawn for Cameron Jerome – a sign, perhaps, that he is already being factored in for a recall after the international break? 

Dacres-Cogley thought he should have had a penalty when he chased on to a looping long pass from Jones and appeared to be dragged back by Pond, but referee Scott Oldham remained unmoved. 

Morley then came within a whisker of a brilliant third, teed up again by the tireless Nlundulu he sent a nonchalant curling shot that bounced off the inside of the post and out to safety. At first look it appeared that keeper Smith might have got a touch, which if correct, would make it his third excellent save of the night. 

The heavy rain continued but Wanderers showed little sign of slowing down, perhaps knowing that they have a clear weekend in front of them as reward. 

Thomason, who clearly has the goal bug after his piledriver against Blackpool, tested Smith again with a dipping effort from the edge of the box, and on 66 minutes the moment appeared to have arrived for Cameron Jerome, off the bench for Bodvarsson. Put through on goal by Morley, his shot was blocked by the advancing Smith, denying him a first goal for the Whites

Stockport thought they had earned themselves a lifeline almost immediately, as Odin Bailey’s cross-shot was nudged by Manchester United old boy Nick Powell past Coleman but the linesman cut short his celebrations. 

Byrne’s dreadful pass then offered Morley a clear run on goal – the midfielder looking odds on to score until driving his shot straight at the keeper. 

Try as he might, Morley just could not get himself on the scoresheet. With 15 minutes left Nlundulu burst through, checking back to play a perfect ball for Morley on the overlap, but once again he could not beat Smith with his angled drive. 

 At this point, the number of gilt-edged opportunities created by Bolton had equalled that of the eight-goal demolition of Manchester United’s kids several weeks earlier. Few deserved a goal more than Nlundulu, whose build-up work had been exemplary all night, but he too found Smith impossible to beat after getting the wrong side of Pond for the umpteenth time on the night. 

With 10 minutes to go, he broke free yet again. Nobody would have blamed him for going alone but after rolling a pass square for Maghoma, he did not know where to look when his team-mate ballooned a shot over the bar from eight yards out. 

Quite how the game stood 2-0, not a soul at Edgeley Park knew, but the longer it did, there was a chance Stockport could get back into it. Powell should have delivered that lesson after getting on the end of Knoyle’s cross at the far post. 

First year pro Sonny Sharples came on for his debut before the end, replacing Maghoma, by which time it was a non-stop midweek party among the 1,500 travelling fans, determined to enjoy their last moments before stepping out into the sodden streets outside.