Former Everton youngster Kevin Townson scored from the penalty spot in the 18th minute of the game and this goal was to end Wanderers interest in the competition for another year.
Bolton had some experienced names on show in Leyland and these included Nigerian international Blessing Kaku, World Cup star Khalilou Fadiga and the experienced French defender Florent Laville, so it is a good scalp for Rochdale who will now have to play either Blackpool or Bury in the final.
The visitors had the best of the early stages as midfielder Ben Kitchen went close to breaking the deadlock following a neat move down the right by Leighton McGivern.
Bolton responded almost immedietly as makeshift striker Jaroslaw Fojut saw his shot deflect off a defender and into the arms of the Dale goalkeeper Daniel Woodhall.
Townson then put the away side 1-0 to the good from the penalty spot having been brought down by the Wanderers goalkeeper Chris Howarth just moments earlier.
Khalilou Fadiga and Ricky Shakes both had chances to bring the Trotters back on level terms but they found no way past the excellent teenager stopper Woodhall.
Shakes again tested Woodhall with a shot from the edge of the area whilst young Polish starlet Fojut fired over the crossbar having been put in a good shooting position by Bedi Buval.
All in all it was just not going right for the Wanderers despite a them having created a number of chances to draw back on level terms. They now have to focus on the Manchester Senior Cup game with Manchester United on Monday evening.
BOLTON RESERVES: Chris Howarth, Rhys Powell, Bradley Hill, Florent Laville, Charlie Comyn-Platt, Dale Whitehead, Blessing Kaku, Khalilou Fadiga (Craig Knowles), Bedi Buval, Ricky Shakes, Jaroslaw Fojut.
SUBS NOT USED: Karl Luisi, Sam Ashton, Luke Magill, Danny Stott
ROCHDALE RESERVES: Danny Woodhall, Gary Brown, Kevin Gibbins, Gareth Griffiths, Tony Gallimore, Scott Warner (Patrick McCourt), Ben Kitchen, Nick Allen, Dennis Greenwood (Clive Moyo Modise), Kevin Townson, Leighton McGivern.
SUBS NOT USED: J McDonagh, M Murray, C Ballard.