SUNDERLAND left it late on the day but could not have produced a more timely win to relieve the growing pressure on the club.
It wasn’t until the 82nd minute that the Black Cats finally managed to get their noses in front after dominating the second-half with success.
When Seb Larsson swung in the corner which saw Stephane Sessegnon swivel to flash home a low shot from 10 yards out, it was the seventh time the Swede had been given a goal-creating opportunity from the corner flag and time and again Sunderland created chances they seemed destined never to convert.
After a first-half display from both sides which was best forgotten the stage seemed set for the first draw of Bolton’s season – defences dominating amid a string of unforced errors and poor passing.
But early in the second half Sunderland seized the advantage and by the time the final 10 minutes arrived, Bolton were clinging on.
Sessegnon’s goal could easily have been cancelled out in the last few minutes but Simon Mignolet produced a brilliant close-range save and John O’Shea a classy headed clearance from just a couple of yards out to preserve their lead.
Sunderland then took advantage of Bolton committing men forward to hit them on the counterattack in time added on – Sessesgnon finding Nicklas Bendtner unmarked on the left of goal and the Dane stroking home a low shot to beat the exposed Jussi Jaaskelainen at his near post.
At the final whistle, Steve Bruce applauded Sunderland’s ecstatic 4,400 strong travelling army and they applauded him back.
H Report – pages 2-3