Bolton Wanderers winger, Sammy Ameobi was on song with his first goal since October to help The Trotters climb out of relegation waters in the English lower division.
Ameobi’s brilliant individual goal was enough to help pull Bolton out of the Championship relegation zone with victory against Bristol City, after Bobby Reid was denied what appeared to be a penalty early in the game when Ben Alnwick collided with him.
Ameobi netted with a fine run and low finish in the second half, and defeat for promotion contenders Bristol City saw them miss the chance to close the gap on the top two.
Bolton climb to 19th with the victory, which came in the week they sold leading scorer Gary Madine to Cardiff City for £6m, and the win came in their first league match without him in the side since April 2016.
Ameobi, who has expressed a strong desire to play for Nigeria at this year’s World Cup in Russia, provided the only goal of the game after he won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and was allowed a free run before shooting from 20 yards out.
He came within inches of a spectacular opener in the first half with a curling left-footed effort, while Zach Clough, who returned to Bolton on loan from Nottingham Forest on transfer deadline day, should have made sure of the points late on with a second goal, but failed to keep his effort on target.
Bristol City struggled for rhythm and Famara Diedhiou’s second-half header from close range was well saved by Alnwick, but The Robins stay fifth before the weekend’s other Championship fixtures, three points behind second-placed Derby County.
Bolton Wanderers boss, Phil Parkinson said afterwards: “We showed great resilience. People have written us off all season. We have sold our top scorer and people are writing us off again, so we have to prove them wrong again.
“It felt tonight before the game that people were patting us on the back and saying we were unlucky. I said I expected us not to draw, but win the game. Everybody will talk about Sammy, who will get the headlines, but it was a team effort and the players stuck to our game plan and restricted a very good team to few chances.”
On his part, Bristol City head coach, Lee Johnson retorted:”I didn’t like our performance and I didn’t like our players’ attitudes. I thought we pulled out of a couple of tackles early, I thought we played into their hands and we didn’t get in behind them enough.
“You have to credit Bolton, they were excellent. I thought Sammy Ameobi was the best player on the pitch, which was disappointing.”