AS far as unlikely match-winners go, Derik Osede tops the list, but it was the Spaniard who came up with the goods at Crewe to help Wanderers progress in the Carabao Cup.

The former Real Madrid man hadn’t come close to opening his account for the Whites in two years since swapping the Bernabeu for Bolton.

But his header 10 minutes from the end ensured Phil Parkinson’s side did not have to work overtime after another strong second-half show.

Adam Armstrong scored his first goal for the club since joining on loan to level the game with 20 minutes to go – shortly after Phil Parkinson had gone for broke and introduced all three of his subs to try to prevent the upset.

League Two Crewe impressed and battled to the bitter end, seeing a late corner scrambled away from the goal with the last kick.

They could have been further ahead had it not been for the woodwork and some smart goalkeeping from Ben Alnwick.

For the second time in four days, however, the Whites managed to shake off the cobwebs and finish stronger than they started.

Wanderers may have taken some moral encouragement from their second-half display at the Macron on Sunday but there is nothing quite like an early-season result – whatever the competition – to settle the nerves.

Parkinson would have appreciated something less fraught but the win does ease some pressure on Saturday’s trip to Millwall, with fans eager to see their team get up and running in the Championship.

The Bolton boss kept his promise to make changes, and only Stephen Darby survived from the team beaten by Leeds.

Everton loanee Antonee Robinson was brought in for his senior debut, while Mark Little and Aaron Wilbraham were handed their first starts for the Whites.

Third year scholar Jack Earing was also brought into midfield but the major talking point pre-match was the absence of Chris Taylor.

The former Oldham midfielder looked almost certain to leave the club last season but some bright appearances over the summer had us wondering whether he could force his way back into the manager’s plans.

A midweek first round cup game seemed the ideal occasion but while Parkinson got a good look at those who did not start against Leeds, Taylor was nowhere to be seen.

Clearcut chances were at a premium in the first half but as time wore on, Crewe gradually got on top and fully deserved to lead at the break.

The Cheshire men had already fired a couple of warning shots across the boughs, Chris Porter heading George Cooper’s cross narrowly over and Chris Dagnall also going close.

But with three minutes left on the clock the two experienced strikers combined, Dagnall crossing for ex-Bury front man Porter to head past Alnwick’s despairing dive near his right-hand post.

The goal rather masked the fact Wanderers had played some decent football in the opening half an hour, not least down the left side where Goodison Park youngster Robinson offered a constant threat.

Derik Osede made a welcome return in defence and with Reece Burke and Will Buckley also making their first starts, the Whites looked altogether more comfortable in possession than they had in the first 45 minutes against Leeds.

For all the decent build-up it was difficult to ignore the lack of clearcut chances created. Crewe keeper Ben Garratt had little to do but admire a massive flock of birds which danced in the skies above Gresty Road’s Blue Bell Stand.

Wanderers had more of a sense of urgency after the restart yet still the ball would not quite drop for them in the penalty box.

Adam Armstrong snapped up a loose touch on the edge of the area from Michael Raynes and, for a moment, looked like he would burst through on goal – only for keeper Garratt to race off his line to make a brave save.

The 978 travelling fans cooped up in the Ice Cream Van Stand did their best to inspire but Crewe started to look dangerous once again and came incredibly close to a second.

Alnwick made a point-blank save from Porter, found once more by a pin-point cross from Dagnall, and the same player shook the crossbar with a deflected effort a couple of moments later.

Parkinson sensed his side were wobbling and launched a triple substitution – bringing on Fil Morais, Gary Madine and Jem Karacan. Within moments his side was level as Robinson and Buckley combined on the left to give Armstrong a simple finish from six yards.

There was more of an air of confidence about Wanderers from there on in. Morais had a couple of sighters before delivering a cross for the winning goal.

Not many Bolton fans would have invested much money on Derik to score at anytime this season, let alone at Crewe, but it was his distinctive frame which rose highest to head home with 10 minutes left.

Attendance: 3,167 (978)