Bolton claim third straight win
Resurgent Bolton Wanderers battled back from a goal down to win 3-2 at bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and keep their heads above the relegation zone.
Michael Kightly gave Wolves the lead early in the second half but Martin Petrov drew the visitors level from the penalty spot before Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso and substitute Kevin Davies gave Owen Coyle's side the three points.
Having been swept to a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers on a tide of emotion sparked by Fabrice Muamba's on-pitch collapse and subsequent fight for life, Bolton have now recorded three straight wins for the first time since December 2006.
They remain a point above the bottom three, in 16th place – albeit with a game in hand – but Wolves are now six points from safety with only seven games to play.
Wolves manager Terry Connor preferred Sylvain Ebanks-Blake to Kevin Doyle in the home attack and the former Manchester United trainee registered an early effort on target with a low shot that Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan scrambled away.
The hosts began the game with a sense of enterprise that belied their desperate recent form, but they were almost undone by a marvellous piece of skill by Petrov in the 31st minute.
The Bolton winger used his heel to retrieve a ball that had bounced just behind him and flick it over Roger Johnson's head before lashing in a volley that cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.
Stirred, Wolves sought to re-assert their authority and only a fine reaction save from Bogdan prevented Steven Fletcher from giving Connor's side the lead with a well-directed header.
Having generated such momentum, Wolves threatened to lose their way after a bizarre incident that saw Johnson go head-to-head in an argument with his own goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey.
It did not appear to unsettle the hosts unduly, however, as moments later Fletcher had a header kicked off the line by Ryo Miyaichi.
The Scot went even closer on the stroke of halftime, skimming the crossbar with a header from Kightly's right-wing cross, but still the breakthrough would not come.
The impressive Kightly broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, drifting inside Alonso on the right flank and bending a left-footed shot into the bottom-left corner from just outside the 18-yard box.
Wolves had lost 14 points from winning positions prior to Saturday's game and their inability to protect a lead resurfaced in the 63rd minute as Bolton were awarded a penalty when Mark Davies fell under Johnson's challenge.
Petrov tucked away the spot-kick before unveiling a T-shirt bearing the slogan "Be strong Stan," in reference to his Bulgarian compatriot Stiliyan Petrov, the Aston Villa midfielder, who has been diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Alonso gave Bolton the lead in the 80th minute, slotting in the rebound after David Ngog's header hit the bar, before Kevin Davies collected Chris Eagles' pass and skipped around Johnson to roll home the third.
Matt Jarvis gave Wolves hope in the 88th minute, but Bolton withstood heavy pressure to secure another valuable victory.