Bolton clinched automatic promotion back to League One at the first attempt in convincing style with a 4-1 win at 10-man Crawley.
Wanderers went into the game at the Broadfield Stadium knowing victory would guarantee them promotion, and Ian Evatt’s men produced a polished performance having slipped to defeat against Exeter the previous weekend.
Evatt stressed there would be no “party feel” going into the game, having admitted some focus was lost during the 2-1 home defeat by Exeter.
Wanderers made the ideal start from their first attack when skipper Antoni Sarcevic notched his eighth goal of the season in superb style, running on to a pass from George Thomason and cutting inside before firing into the roof of the net.
It got better for the Trotters after 26 minutes when Dapo Afolayan, on loan from West Ham, doubled the lead with his first goal for the club at the far post after being set up by Gethin Jones.
Eoin Doyle had an effort ruled out for off-side before Crawley’s problems increased when captain George Francomb collected a second yellow card and was sent off 11 minutes before the break.
Doyle, who scored a hat-trick for Swindon on his previous visit to Crawley, made it 3-0 with a cool finish four minutes after the break, his 19th goal of the season, after Afolayan and Sarcevic had combined.
Afolayan headed over when well placed from a ball from Sarcevic as Wanderers continued to threaten.
Lloyd Isgrove put the seal on Bolton’s day of celebration by cashing in on a slip by Tony Craig to run through and score a fourth after 77 minutes.
Substitute Davide Rodari fired his first Crawley goal in the 89th minute but it did little to dampen Bolton’s joy.