Bolton 1 Wolves 0
Bolton were toasting an unlikely match winner in Zat Knight as they claimed only their second victory in nine Barclays Premier League matches since Owen Coyle became manager.
It was the defender’s first goal of the season and a welcome one at that in first half stoppage time and moved the Trotters above Wolves in the table although neither side is out of the woods yet.
The visitors were left despondent especially as David Jones and Steve Foley both saw efforts come back off the woodwork.
While Knight got the plaudits, Aberdeen-born midfielder Stuart Holden had much to do with the victory.
The United States international was rewarded for his display in midweek against Tottenham with his first league start.
He responded superbly and Wolves had difficulty dealing with his set pieces.
Bolton controlled the first half and should have been more than one goal to the good.
Chung-Yong Lee released Johan Elmander in the area in the 16th minute after a sweeping move.
However, the striker’s shot carried little power and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was able to make a comfortable save.
Bolton maintained the momentum and Elmander cracked in a shot from the edge of the box that Hahnemann did well to block.
The home side should have taken the lead in the 30th minute following a misdirected header by Christophe Berra.
The ball fell nicely to Davies at the back post but his flick was turned away by Hahnemann. It fell to Elmander but his effort was blocked by Jody Craddock.
Wolves were indebted to their goalkeeper three minutes later when he clawed away an inswinging free-kick at the post.
However, they came close to scoring in the 44th minute after a corner from Jones.
Craddock peeled away from his marker to get in a header at the near post that Jussi Jaaskelainen pushed away.
Jack Wilshere then saw his close-range effort take a deflection off Karl Henry and go over the bar before Bolton took the lead.
Knight found the net after Lee chased the ball to the byline, skipped past Adlene Guedioura to lay on the opening.
Bolton made an unsuccessful appeal for a penalty in the 46th minute when Ronald Zubar appeared to handle as Davies attempted a cross.
Davies should have extended their lead a minute later when he was released by Fabrice Muamba.
However, he only succeeded in sending a soft shot from the edge of the area in Hahnemann’s arms to the frustration of the home fans.
Wolves came within inches of drawing level in the 58th minute after Paul Robinson had been hauled back for flooring Jones.
Jones dusted himself down to send a fine free-kick beyond Jaaskelainen only to see his effort hit the post and come back out.
Bolton hit back and Lee picked out Holden but Hahnemann was equal to his effort.
Matt Jarvis then skipped into the area for Wolves, only for Sam Ricketts to make a timely block as he was about to shoot.
Wolves were cursing their luck again in the 71st minute when Foley showed good skill before firing in a shot that beat Jaaskelainen but struck the woodwork.
Play switched down the other end and sub Ivan Klasnic was set up by Davies only for Hahnemann to parry his effort.
Then Klasnic whipped a shot wide of the post after a good delivery from Wilshere in the 80th minute.
The Croatian was proving to be a handful and almost made Hahnemann pay for a poor clearance, sending a long-distance header narrowly wide of the post.