Wanderers returned to the automatic promotion spots in style with their first league win at Carlisle United in 36 years. 

After first half goals from Zac Ashworth and Paris Maghoma, the Cumbrians managed to get themselves back into the contest midway through the second half through sub Jordan Gibson. 

The goal jolted Bolton back into action, however, and late strikes from Kyle Dempsey and debutant Nat Ogbeta put the finishing touches on a good performance. 

Wanderers moved above Peterborough United into second spot with the victory and have two games in hand on leaders Portsmouth, who won at Port Vale. 

The Whites made two changes from the side that beat Cheltenham – Cumbrian Dempsey coming in for the suspended George Thomason and Ashworth preferred over new arrival Ogbeta on the left, replacing Randell Williams. 

The second of those decisions paid off handsomely for Ian Evatt in the first half as the on-loan West Brom defender scored one and made one to put the Whites into a commanding position. 

Bolton looked neat in possession from the off and Josh Dacres-Cogley won a free kick early on to give Ashworth his first sighter. 

Maghoma had endured a couple of difficult games of late, failing to hit those same heights he did early on in his loan from Brentford. He was involved in a lot of the Whites’ positive football and after testing keeper Harry Lewis with one fizzing effort, he saw another one bounce off his own team-mate, Dion Charles right in front of goal. 

Eoin Toal had a header cleared off the line by Jack Robinson and Dempsey – who picked up some really dangerous positions on the right – fired a fantastic ball across the six yard box that somehow evaded the toes of Charles and Victor Adeboyejo. 

Carlisle offered little in attack at that stage, Paul Huntington going closest with a header from a corner. It was little surprise when the Whites went in front – Sheehan drifting a fine ball over the top for Ashworth to caress a volley over Lewis for his second goal of the campaign. 

The home side almost responded immediately, Alfie McCalmont crossed from the left and Jon Mellish flicked a header just wide of the post. 

Wanderers went straight back on the offensive and soon doubled the lead. Dempsey got in behind the Cumbrians again on the right, his ball falling for Ashworth who laid off to Maghoma and enabled him to snap a shot into the bottom corner. 

The home side rocked on their haunches, Bolton simply had to see the half out without incident.  

Jack Iredale took a knock after a heavy fall which required a fair amount of treatment but played on, Wanderers jogging back down the tunnel with a spring in their step at the break. 

Carlisle made a double substitution at the break and definitely made a better fist of it at the start of the second half, winning a succession of set pieces to keep Bolton alert. 

Their best effort at goal came from Mellish, driven with venom from 25 yards and forcing Baxter into a fingertip save. The Bolton keeper also had to diffuse a couple of set piece scrambles in his own six yard box. 

Just as it looked like Bolton had weathered the worst of the storm, sub Jordan Gibson blasted Carlisle back into the game. 

After a throw taken way out of position, Wanderers failed to clear Robinson’s cross from the left – and a deflection landed perfectly for Gibson to fire past Baxter to set up a tense finale, and one which seemed improbable at half time. 

Jerome’s introduction certainly helped keep pressure on the Carlisle defenders. He produced a few neat touches too, one releasing Dempsey on the right, and his cross crashed into the net at the near post by sub Jon Dadi Bodvarsson. Unfortunately, the linesman had raised his flag and the celebrations never got started in the away end. 

Jerome had a couple of half-chances to steal the headlines, one a side-footed shot from Ashworth’s cross, another a far-post header that he couldn’t quite get on target. 

Five minutes of stoppage time were shown by the fourth official, and it seemed like every one of them would last a lifetime, at least until Dempsey got the goal his all-action performance deserved. 

Bodvarsson chased on to a long ball to keep possession on the left, his pass finding Dempsey who did the rest with a great angled finish. 

It got even better deep into time added on. Wanderers brought Ogbeta on for his debut and his first touch ended up in the back of the net. 

A swift break saw Whites shirts outnumber Carlisle in their own box, and Dacres-Cogley’s ball from the right dropped perfectly for the new signing to drill in his debut goal.