Daniel Sturridge enjoyed a goalscoring Bolton Wanderers debut as he superbly telegraphed an underhit backpass from Ronald Zubar to slot a late winning goal in closely fought contest at the Reebok Stadium.
The on-loan Chelsea striker had been introduced as a second half substitute and had the desired impact with effectively the last kick of the game just moments after Kevin Doyle had hit Jussi Jaaskelainen's post.
Prior to the late drama Chung-Yong Lee, on his return from Asian Cup duty, had impressed in the first half and carved out numerous chances for his team-mates whilst Wayne Hennessey impressed in the Wolves goal.
But ultimately it was to be Sturridge's night as he rolled the dice gambling on a backpass before calmly slotting the winner.
New signing Sturridge took up a place on the bench just days after completing a loan move from Premier League champions Chelsea. Fellow January signing David Wheater also took up a place on the bench as Gary Cahill returned to the heart of the defence alongside Zat Knight. The other two changes for the Whites saw Chung-Yong, back from Asian Cup action, and Stuart Holden return to the starting XI.
Owen Coyle's men started on the front foot in blustery conditions. Chung-Yong was straight in the midst of the action, as the Korean's scampering runs down the right caused numerous problems for the Wolves full-back George Elokobi. One of those off the ball darts resulted in the first chance of the game, as Chung-Yong arrived at the back post late before skewing an effort wide.
But it wasn't all one way traffic as the hosts carved out a golden opportunity and in truth, should have probably taken the lead. Adam Hammill, a January addition from Barnsley, stabbed a ball over the Wanderers defensive line who all appealed for offside against Jarvis, but the flag stayed down only for the winger to roll his effort inches past Jaaskelainen's right post.
Wanderers responded to that guilt edge chance, as Johan Elmander forced Hennessey into a smart low save after Kevin Davies had prodded the ball into the Swede's path and Matt Taylor scuffed a right foot effort that was saved by the goalkeeper after a moment of brilliance from Chung-Yong.
Wanderers continued to have the upper hand, despite a penalty appeal from the impressive Hammill. Elmander fizzed a cross into Taylor who forced Hennessey into yet another save despite an offside flag and Sam Ricketts hammered a left foot effort within a whisker of the post from all of 30 yards right on the stroke of half time.
However the opening throes of the second 45 were a different story, as Wolves, attacking the goal with their travelling contingent behind, started brightly. David Jones wriggled away from a couple of challenges on the edge of the area before seeing his low effort gobbled up by Jaaskelainen.
It wasn't until ten minute into the second period that the home side managed to make inroads into the Wolves half. From a corner Chung-Yong's flick from a Kevin Davies nod down was plucked out of the air by Hennessey.
Following a full-blooded 50-50 challenge involving Paul Robinson and Richard Stearman tempers began to boil over as a melee of players gathered around the scene of the tackle. No harm was done, but the respective players involved in the original incident received a yellow card each.
With 20 minutes left on the clock Coyle displayed his clear forward-thinking intentions, introducing Rodrigo and Sturridge for his debut in place of Chung-Yong and Taylor.
The impetus was very much on Wanderers and that double substitution certainly injected life into the home side, but for all the endeavour in the final third they remained bereft of any real clear-cut chances.
The final ten minutes of the game descended into a somewhat scrappy affair, as the away side committed men forward and were nearly rewarded for their effort. Kevin Doyle, who had put in a real shift for the visitors, cut in from the left and saw a shot deflect of Knight and loop onto the post. It was a late scare for Wanderers, and just as it seemed both sides would have to settle for a share of the spoils there was to be a late twist.
Ronald Zubar played a catastrophic backpass towards his own goalkeeper from the right-back position which was superbly telegraphed by Sturridge and he duly slotted the late winning goal with just seconds on the clock.
Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Rodrigo 69), Holden, M Davies, Taylor (Sturridge 69), Elmander, K Davies (Muamba 90) (Unused substitutes: Bogdan, Wheater, Petrov, Klasnic)
Wolves: Hennessey, Elokobi, Edwards (O'Hara 76), Stearman, Henry, Jones, Berra, Jarvis (Ward 76), Hammill (Ebanks-Blake 89), Zubar, Doyle (Unused substitutes: Hahnemann, Craddock, Milijas, Fletcher)