Barnsley may have been knocked out of the Under 21 Premier League Cup, but they can count themselves unlucky not to have won.
Bolton had raced to a two goal lead courtesy of a brace from Sanmi Odelusi.
A quick attacking move put Bolton one up in the opening two minutes after Barnsley had given away possession in their own half. Odelusi scored his second with barely 20 minutes elapsed on the counter attack after Barnsley had been doing all the pressing at the other end of the pitch.
Despite the disappointment Barnsley showed great character and continued to knock on Bolton's goal and they were rewarded in the 28th minute when John Cofie's header beat Sutherland.
The Reds went in search of an equaliser and created a host of chances. They finally drew level when Tomasz Cywka's strike after 60 minutes flew into the top right hand corner of the net. From that point Barnsley looked more likely to get the all-important fifth goal as Bolton has to resist sustained pressure from the Reds.
Cywka's overhead kick nearly brought a third goal for the Reds, but as much as the chances flowed for Barnsley they could not get the ball into the net.
Despite the dominance the Reds were dealt a real blow on 77 minutes when Zach Clough jinxed past three players before firing the ball into the net to restore Bolton's lead and then Clough killed the game off three minutes later with his second goal.
That sent Bolton into the last 16 of the Under 21 Premier League Cup and left Barnsley rueing their missed opportunities.
Bolton: Sutherland, White, Matthews, Threlkeld, Holding, Woodland (Kelly, 82), Odelusi, Gregus, Wilkinson, Clough, Youngs (Iliev, 75).
Unused Subs: A. Knight, Ball.
Barnsley: Dibble, Patterson, Nyatanga, Digby, Tunnicliffe, Jones, Cwyka, Etuhu (Abbott, 59) Cofie (McKnight), Clark, Jennings.
Unused Subs: Rusling, Sousa, Smith.