Goals in each half from Dennis Politic and Chris O’Grady gave Keith Hill’s men a deserved three points against Tranmere Rovers at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Wanderers got off to a dream start thanks to Politic’s thunderbolt with just two minutes on the clock, before O’Grady’s 100th career league goal sealed the points for the hosts.
The Wanderers manager made two changes from his side’s midweek draw against Bristol Rovers with loan signing Kean Bryan coming in for his debut and O’Grady earning a recall. The pair replaced Liam Edwards and Ronan Darcy who were both named among the substitutes.
The spectators inside the University of Bolton Stadium barely had time to sit down before they were up on their feet applauded Politic’s goal.
The Romanian winger was the beneficiary of a neat Daryl Murphy knockdown and his half-volley sailed into the top corner to give the Rovers ‘keeper no chance.
The early goal gave Wanderers a shot in the arm and Daryl Murphy saw a shot blocked after being picked out by O’Grady.
The big Irishman saw another shot blocked moments later when the Rovers defence failed to deal with Jason Lowe’s lofted pass.
Politic’s pace and trickery were causes problems over on the right and his cross narrowly failed to reach the head of O’Grady.
Remi Matthews took a routine catch as Tranmere made a rare foray into the Wanderers box after Connor Jennings, under pressure from Toto Nsiala, tried to get a shot in.
Morgan Ferrier latched on to Alex Woodyard’s pass, and beating the offside trap he managed to blaze over from ten yards out.
James Vaughan wasted an opportunity after his shot sailed over the bar.
Nsiala put in a superb block to deny Kieron Morris’s fierce 12-yard drive from heading goalwards.
Politic was hungry and looking to add to his tally, and after holding off his marker be cut inside onto his left foot before seeing a low drive go a yard wide.
Morris had a free-kick from 25 yards but his effort was firmly held by Matthews.
Both Daryl Murphy and O’Grady had shots blocked in quick succession as the home side looked to double their lead going into the break.
Five minutes after the restart Luke Murphy was felled 25 yards from goal but Politic’s resulting free-kick was blocked by the wall.
Bryan, looking solid along Nsiala in the back four, ushered the ball out for a goal kick whilst under presser from Ferrier.
Ethan Hamilton unleashed a low drive which Davies spilled but O’Grady’s follow up was blocked, as was Politic’s effort immediately afterwards.
A surging run from Bryan brought in Daryl Murphy but the big striker’s curling effort went over the bar.
The hosts confirmed victory thanks to O’Grady’s well-taken effort. Hamilton’s shot went straight into the ground which presented the striker with the opportunity to guide the ball on the volley into the back of the net.
Hamilton went close shortly afterwards from a tight angle before Brandon Fleming saw a shot go wide of target.
Wanderers offered outstanding value for their victory and the 13,000 plus Wanderers fans were in fine voice once the referee blew for time.