Nine-man Wanderers suffered a reverse in South Wales as Oli McBurnie’s late second-half strike and an injury time effort from sub Bersant Celina gave Swansea City a maximum at the Liberty Stadium.
The visitors had Craig Noone sent off in the first-half and captain David Wheater dismissed in the second period, but looked to be holding on for a draw after Remi Matthews put in a man of the match display by making a string of vital saves including a stunning penalty save from eventual goal scorer McBurnie.
But the big Scotsman sent the Swans on course for victory with ten minutes to go after poking home from close range to make the hosts’ numerical advantage eventually count.
Celina then made doubly sure deep into time added on after his fresh legs got the better of the Wanderers defence.
Phil Parkinson made two changes from the side that lost narrowly at Leeds United last weekend with Sammy Amoebi and fit-again Luca Connell coming in for Joe Williams and the suspended Jason Lowe.
Remi Matthews parried away a left footed drive from Matt Grimes after three minutes as the hosts started brightly.
The speedy Daniel James was the next to test the Wanderers ‘keeper but he hit his shot straight into the arms of Matthews after bursting into the box.
James was in the thick of the action and he latched on to McBurnie’s measured through ball but could only shoot across the face of goal after getting in front of his marker.
Wanderers were struggling to get a foothold on the game and the hosts were controlling possession during the early stages.
Matthews made another fine save to keep out McBurnie who shaped up to curl in a left-footer at the far post.
Some enterprising play on the left hand side involving Noone and Magennis resulted in Connell volleying towards goal for Wanderers’ first chance. The shot, however, didn’t trouble Nordfeldt in the Swansea goal.
Matthews was single-handedly keeping the visitors in this contest as he again got a vital hand in to block a cross from the right hand side with McBurnie lurking near the penalty spot.
The Wanderers shot-stopper was simply awesome and again kept Wanderers in the contest after denying McBurnie from the penalty spot with a splendid save diving to his right after Noone upended Nathan Dyer, a foul for which is was cautioned.
A Grimes free-kick was well-struck but Matthews was its match as he turned the strike away for a corner.
At the other end, a fierce volley from Connolly was kept out by Nordfeldt as Wanderers almost got their noses in front.
Wanderers were reduced to ten men two minutes before the half-time break when Noone was shown a second yellow for a foul on McBurnie.
Wanderers started the second half with endeavour in spite of their numerical disadvantage and won a corner early on.
Moments later an in-swinging cross from Ameobi was only inches away from Wheater’s head.
The visitors won a free-kick in a dangerous area after Magennis was felled by a clumsy challenge off Grimes. After receiving lengthy treatment, he was carried off the field with what appeared to be a leg injury and was replaced by Will Buckley.
From the resulting set-piece, Connell shot straight into the arms of Nordfeldt.
Wanderers survived another scare when James’ cross was inadvertently deflected goalwards by Wheater, but fortunately Olkowski was able to get back and clear the ball off the line.
Luke Murphy came on for Connell with twenty minutes remaining as Parkinson looked to freshen things up in midfield.
Referee Gavin Ward had a lengthy consultation with his assistant before dismissing Wheater for what he deemed a professional foul on Routledge after the winger intercepted a loose pass from Murphy. Wanderers were now down to nine men.
As a result, defender Jack Hobbs came on for Donaldson as Wanderers somehow tried to defend what would be a miraculous point.
The hosts thought they had broken the deadlock with ten minutes to go, but the referee had blown for a handball before McBurnie found the back of the net.
It mattered not, as the Scotsman finally scored just a minute later after poking home from close range before Celina struck minutes from the full time whistle to earn his their three points on a wet and windy afternoon in Wales.
Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Olkowski, Connolly, O’Neil, Beevers, Wheater, Ameobi, Connell (Murphy 69'), Donaldson (Hobbs 75'), Magennis (Buckley 56'), Noone
Subs Not Used: Williams, Little, Dyer, Pritchard