Zac Ashworth marked his debut with a first senior goal as knock-out specialists Bolton opened their Carabao Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Sky Bet League Two Barrow.

The West Brom loanee’s 44th-minute curling free-kick was the perfect ending to an opening half dominated by last season’s EFL Trophy champions.

Ian Evatt’s League One outfit could not find a decisive finish against his former club from a succession of chances until Ashworth punished George Ray’s foul on Cameron Jerome from 20 yards.

Pete Wild’s Cumbrians came into only their fifth ever appearance in the competition on the back of an impressive 2-1 opening day win at Tranmere.

But they never threatened to win a first-ever fixture against the Trotters, whose run to Wembley victory against Plymouth included a group-stage win over the Bluebirds.

Barrow resolutely defended their box as Bolton continued to dictate and dominate possession, but could not get the second goal to put their fans at ease.

Ashworth’s breakthrough goal ensured Bolton – denied a second goal late on by Paul Farman’s great save from Victor Adeboyjeo – followed up their own first-day victory against Lincoln.