A BRACE from Adam Reed was not enough for Sunderland’s second string after last-gasp Bolton denied them a third successive victory.
Reed’s quick-fire double had wiped out Michael O’Halloran’s opener during a flurry of goals in the final 15 minutes.
But Jack Sampson immediately earned hosts Bolton parity after Reed had doubled his tally in the 89th minute, with Sunderland forced to be content with a 2-2 draw.
The Black Cats began strongly with Ryan Noble testing Bolton stopper Rob Lainton within the first five minutes and Jordan Cook going even closer moments later.
Reserve-team top scorer Cook was sent through on goal from Reed’s ball over the top, but could only send his effort wide.
A subdued opening 45 minutes culminated in Sampson firing just over the bar and Noble going close for Keith Bertschin’s side at the other end.
James McClean and Cook both spurned early opportunities in the second half before Bolton took the advantage in the 74th minute.
Black Cats stopper Lewis King looked to have O’Halloran’s long-range effort covered, only for the ball to bobble under his body and into the net.
King quickly redeemed himself when he denied O’Halloran from close range.
And it proved crucial for the Black Cats, who levelled in the 79th minute when Reed fired home the rebound after Cook’s shot was saved by the impressive Lainton.
Liam Marrs hit the post before Sunderland took the lead with a minute to go after Reed unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
But Bolton immediately hit back when Sampson’s volley earned the Trotters a share of the spoils.
BOLTON RESERVES: Lainton, Battersby, Blakeman, McQuade, Connolly, Irwin, Caton (Lester 46), Vela (Iliev 65), Sampson, O’Halloran, Kellett. Subs not used: Lynch, Eckersley, MacGregor.
SUNDERLAND RESERVES: King, Marrs, Liddle (Elliott 90), Reed, Egan, Laing, Lynch, Knott, Noble (Deacon 73), Cook, McClean. Subs not used: Wilson, Gorrin, Oliver.