Bolton pulled clear of the relegation places with a narrow 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers. Bolton's first game after Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest last Saturday at Tottenham was always going to be an emotional affair which probably accounted for the lack of quality on display.
The game was effectively decided in the first half when the Wanderers scored both their goals and ended Rovers record of two consecutive league wins.
Defender David Wheater was the hero for the home side with a brace of headers in the space of six minutes. His first owed much to a fortunate deflection allowing a free header at the far post.
But the second was down to poor marking by Rovers at a corner which allowed Wheater completely unmarked to finish powerfully past Paul Robinson.
Rovers showed more determination after the break and gave themselves hope when Steven Nzonzi reduced the lead with a header from a long throw by Morten Gamst Pedersen early in the half.
But despite pressing and having opportunities to draw level through Yakubu it was Bolton who hung on for a vital three points. Referee: Andre Marriner
Venue: Reebok Stadium
Bolton scorers: Wheater 28, 35 Blackburn scorers: Nzonzi 56
TRIBAL ASKS: Will Bolton be more determined than ever to retain their Premiership status because of Fabrice Muamba?
Yellow cards: Lowe (BLA), Olsson (BLA)