Tom Eaves and Luke Woodland on scoresheet as Whites suffer first defeat of 2015
Despite recovering a two-goal deficit, Bolton Wanderers suffered defeat in wintry conditions against West Bromwich Albion on Monday lunchtime.
Adil Nabi fired the hosts in front with a 25-yard curling strike just before the break before Tyler Roberts doubled West Brom’s lead shortly after the hour-mark.
The Whites fought back with a Tom Eaves header before Luke Woodland equalised from a well-placed shot from the edge of the area.
However, Wesley Atkinson volleyed home a late winner moments later, bringing an end to Bolton’s five-game unbeaten league run in the process.
Harry Campbell started in goal in the absence of Ben Amos and Ross Fitzsimons, while loan signing Matija Boben was once again handed a starting berth in the centre of defence.
Meanwhile, Iain Brunskill also named Elliot Newby in his starting XI, while Tom Eaves and Georg Iliev were partnered in attack.
With the weather fluctuating between hail, sleet and snow early on in the match, both sides struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities during the game’s opening quarter.
Having already seen Luke Woodland fire straight at Jack Rose from range, Wanderers’ first real chance fell to Tom Eaves after Georg Iliev flicked a Chris Lester cross into the forward’s path.
Spinning to connect with a first-time volley, Eaves’ mis-hit strike lacked power as it floated kindly into Rose’s grasp.
West Brom were unfortunate not to take the lead midway through the half as Samir Nabi cannoned an effort back against the post from inside the area, but it would prove to be a rare moment of panic for the Whites as they controlled the majority of the half.
Bolton’s next opening fell to Lester on the half-hour mark as the winger nutmegged his opponent before shrugging off another challenge before playing a one-two with Woodland as he headed for the West Brom area.
However, after beating another Baggies defender, Lester found himself crowded out in the box as his subsequent shot on goal was cleared.
Ryan Sellers went close to powering the Trotters ahead soon after the ball ricocheted kindly to him on the edge of the area after a fierce Elliot Newby strike was blocked.
Spotting Rose off his line, the full-back tried his luck with a lofted first-time strike only to see his effort float narrowly over the crossbar.
Iliev was next to go close for Wanderers as his 30-yard strike fizzed narrowly wide, but West Brom would make the Whites rue their missed opportunities moments later as Adil Nabi fired them ahead from range just before half-time.
Receiving the ball out on the left, the forward cut in before beating Harry Campbell with a perfectly-weighted curling 25-yard effort to give the hosts the lead.
Woodland came close to equalising with virtually the last kick of the half after leaping highest to connect with a Newby cross, however Rose was alert to deny the midfielder at his near post as Bolton went in at the break a goal behind.
Pressing for an equaliser, the Trotters started the second half brightly as Sellers went close to getting his name on the scoresheet within moments of the restart, volleying into the side-netting at the far post from Lester’s cross.
Meanwhile, at the other end Campbell had to be alert to get down well to keep out a Samir Nabi strike from the edge of the box.
Only a fine reaction from Rose denied Wanderers a leveller moments later as Matija Boben went close for the Whites from a corner.
West Brom doubled their lead just after the hour-mark as Tyler Roberts was afforded time and space in the penalty to calmly slot past Campbell into the bottom right-hand corner.
But despite the setback, Bolton showed tremendous character to fight back as they halved the deficit ten minutes later - Eaves heading home at the far post after leaping highest to connect with Sellers’ cross.
They did not have to wait long to equalise as Woodland beat Rose with a fine 20-yard strike soon after, just moments after West Brom had to be alert to clear another Trotters effort off the line.
However, Wanderers were not level for long as Wesley Atkinson volleyed West Brom back ahead inside the final ten minutes.
Iliev was unfortunate not to level once more for the Whites in the dying embers as he could only head straight at Rose when under-pressure at the far post.
And despite a flurry of late corners, Bolton were unable to force another late equaliser - coming up just short on the day as they suffered their first defeat of the calendar year.
Bolton: Campbell, Holding, Sellers, Boben, Taylor, Campbell-Young (Perry 73), Lester, Woodland, Eaves, Iliev, Newby (Ball 46).
Unused subs: Thomas, Garrett, Nolan.
West Brom: Rose, Atkinson, Smart, Pace (O’Sullivan 46), Cleet, Howkins, S.Nabi (Barrow 73), Birch, Jones (Campbell 78), A.Nabi, Roberts.
Unused subs: Palmer, Wedderburn.