Cumbrian Kyle Dempsey and his fellow ex-Carlisle United team-mates suffered Wembley agony as Bolton Wanderers fell at the last play-off hurdle.

Maryport midfielder Dempsey was a second-half substitute in the League One showdown with Oxford United.

But he was unable to inspire a Bolton fightback as they lost 2-0 to Oxford, who went up to the Championship.

It means another season in the third tier for Dempsey and his team-mates, who include fellow former Blues men Gethin Jones and Jack Iredale.

Jones started the play-off final while Iredale was a substitute for Ian Evatt's side.

Josh Murphy's first-half double proved enough for Des Buckingham's side to seal glory amid a disappointing showing by the Trotters.

News and Star: Former Carlisle man Gethin Jones, right, battles Oxford hero Josh Murphy in the play-off finalFormer Carlisle man Gethin Jones, right, battles Oxford hero Josh Murphy in the play-off final (Image: PA)

Dempsey came on in the 49th minute for the injured Paris Maghoma.

Iredale was then introduced at the expense of Josh Sheehan in the 65th minute.

But there proved no way back for Bolton, who had defeated Barnsley en route to the final but came up short against the U's.

Dempsey will remain at Bolton having last year signed a contract extension keeping him at the club until 2026.

Iredale has another year on his Trotters deal while defender Jones is also under contract until the summer of 2025.

Bolton boss Evatt, speaking to The Bolton News, said of the defeat: “We were unrecognisable, we are normally a fast, energetic team.

"Today, we were the opposite of that from minute one.

“There wasn’t any one player really, it was a collective thing. There is not one player in white today who can come away today thinking we have won our individual duels and given our best version of ourselves.

“It is baffling really, I would put that up with our worst performance of the season, and on the biggest stage. Great credit to [Oxford], I thought they nullified us and showed good energy."