Bolton Wanderers secured back-to-back home wins with a 1-0 win over Peterborough United at the Reebok Stadium.
Defender Craig Dawson continued his impressive form in front of goal with a fifth minute header, his third goal in four days as the Whites climbed into the top half of the Championship table. Wanderers are now unbeaten in their last five matches and move within seven points of the top six.
Manager Dougie Freedman named an unchanged starting 11 for the clash against the Posh following Saturday’s convincing 4-1 win over Hull City at the Reebok Stadium.
Medo Kamara and David Wheater were again named on the bench whilst there was also a seat for USA international Stuart Holden.
Visiting boss Darren Ferguson made two changes from the 2-0 defeat against Birmingham City last time out.
Joe Newell and Kane Ferdinand dropped to the substitutes bench whilst Danny Swanson and Manchester United loan star Davide Petrucci started.
It was a case of déjà vu for the Whites’ supporters as Bolton raced out of the traps to take an early lead at the Reebok Stadium with only five minutes gone.
For the second consecutive game Jay Spearing and Dawson linked up with the goal scoring centre half scoring his third goal in Bolton colours.
Spearing’s initial corner was cleared by the first defender on the front post but the Liverpool loan star was given a second bite of the cherry with the ball going back out of play for a corner.
On his second attempt, Bolton’s number 20 sent an inviting cross for Dawson to rise above a host of black and red shirts and head Freedman’s men into the lead.
Wanderers didn’t rest on their laurels after taking the lead and immediately went in search of goal number two on a bitterly cold evening at the Reebok Stadium.
A superb team move saw possession worked out wide for Darren Pratley to deliver a cross into the penalty box with duo Marvin Sordell and David Ngog both waiting to pounce.
However, the ball dropped kindly at the feet of South Korean international C.Y Lee on the edge of the box but the winger couldn’t keep his shot down and his effort flew over Robert Olejnik’s bar.
Bolton’s promising start to the game continued and four minutes later they looked to catch Ferguson’s side out with a quick counter attack.
The move started after a courageous block from skipper Zat Knight inside his own penalty box to prevent Posh’s number seven Swanson from crossing.
The ball was kept in play by Pratley to prevent a throw in and he quickly directed a long punt towards the half way line for number nine Ngog.
Showing a nice touch to beat his man, the striker played an inside pass to Mark Davies who moved the ball on out wide for danger man Lee.
Driving forward on the left, Lee skipped past full back Mark Little with ease and cut inside but his right footed strike was palmed away for a corner.
Not long after and Freedman was forced into an unexpected first change, Mark Davies the man to be withdrawn after sustained an injury whilst chasing down a loose ball. The boss made a like for like change with Holden coming on forhis first league appearance of the season.
Wanderers sustained their pressure on the visitors goal with Spaniard Marcos Alonso and Sordell both having opportunities on goal, with the Whites defence limiting Ferguson’s side to half chances.
However the final chance of the 45 fell to the visitors, striker Tomlin, who hit the back of the net when the two sides met at London Road in December 2012 hit a low shot from 25-yards which deflected wide for a corner.
Referee Andy D’Urso blew the half time whistle after four minutes of stoppage with Bolton leading 1-0 at the interval.
The second half started slow for both teams and before the hour mark Freedman made his second change of the evening in an attempt to inject some urgency into his side, Sordell replaced by Craig Davies.
The home faithful continued to encourage the players but it was the visitors who were starting to build momentum with former Leicester City youth graduate Tomlin pulling the strings for Posh.
With 20 minutes to go Bolton created the best chance of the half so far. After fighting back to win the ball, Craig Davies collected the ball on the right wing.
Listening to the shout of his striker partner, Craig Davies played a pass inside for Ngog who opened up his body to try and find the far corner with a curling strike and was unfortunate to miss.
In the 72nd minute Bolton made their final change, club captain Kevin Davies introduced for Ngog, with his missed shot being his last contribution to the game.
However Ngog’s attempt on goal helped Wanderers find their feet and they started to look a threat once again in the final third.
The Trotters were unlucky not to double their advantage when full back Alonso hit a thunderous strike from the left hand side of the penalty box which whistled agonisingly wide.
Freedman’s side professionally saw the remainder of the 90 minutes out to secure all three points and came very close to adding a second in stoppage time through sub Craig Davies.
Attention will now turn with a trip to Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon to face Barnsley at Oakwell.
Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Spearing, Lee, Pratley, M Davies (Holden, 23), Ngog (K Davies, 72) Sordell (C Davies, 58) Subs: Lonergan, Wheater, Kamara, De Ridder.
Peterborough: Olejnik, Zakuani, Bostwick, Swanson (Newell, 71), Tomlin, McCann, Rowe, Little (Alcock, 85), Petrucci (Payne, 42) Gayle, Mendez-Laing. Subs: Day, Alcock, Brisley, Ferdinand, McDonald.