Burton were relegated from the Sky Bet Championship after a 2-1 defeat at Preston, who missed out on a play-off spot.
Louis Moult won it in added time for 10-man Preston, who finished seventh after Derby secured the final play-off place thanks to victory over Barnsley, with the Yorkshire club joining Burton in the bottom three.
Hope Akpan had equalised midway through the second half for Burton, which cancelled out Callum Robinson's opener.
At that stage the Brewers were staying up, but they were left...
First-half goals from Hope Akpan and Lucas Akins gave Burton hope of avoiding relegation from the Sky Bet Championship and dragged Bolton deep into the trouble at the foot of the table.
Albion had never before won three games in a row in the Championship but they rarely looked in any serious danger after Akpan's first of the season and Akins' predatory finish put them in control.
And Burton held on to win 2-0 and move up to 22nd, level on points with Barnsley in 21st. Bolton, meanwhile, drop to 23rd.
Sunderland have been relegated to the third tier of English football for only the second time in the club's history after losing a dramatic relegation battle with Burton 2-1.
Paddy McNair gave the Black Cats the lead 11 minutes before the break - but two goals in the last four minutes relegated the Black Cats and moved Burton to within two points of safety.
Former Sunderland striker Darren Bent came off the bench and headed in the equaliser, before Liam Boyce nodded the winner deep into added-time.
Burton kept their slim Championship survival hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over play-off chasing Derby at the Pirelli Stadium.
Liam Boyce, Luke Murphy and Lucas Akins were all on target as Albion claimed their first win on home soil in 18 games, moving to within five points of safety with three matches remaining.
David Nugent had equalised in the 29th minute for Derby, who also missed a late penalty when former County goalkeeper Stephen Bywater denied top-scorer Matej Vydra.
The defeat damaged the...