GOALS in the dying seconds of both halves earned Sunderland their first away win since the victory over Blackpool in January.
The Black Cats, playing with Ahmed Elmohamady up front alongside Stephane Sessegnon, were comfortably the better side in the first-half, playing some lovely football.
But the clearer cut chances were cut out by Bolton who could have taken the lead three times in the first half – shots by Daniel Sturridge and Matt Taylor being blocked – and another Sturridge effort hitting the crossbar.
Sunderland took the lead on the stroke of half-time when the flag stayed down on Bolo Zenden’s run and he sprinted goalwards, rounded Jussi Jaaskelainen and finished neatly.
The second half was a much more evenly balanced affair. Sunderland had their chances but Bolton grew stronger as the game wore on and looked have salvaged at least a point when they scored just four minutes from time – a Rodrigo cross from the left being neatly headed home by Ivan Klasnic.
Sunderland might even have lost it in time added on when Bardsley headed a Kevin Davies shot off the line. And with virtually the last kick of the game Sunderland seized all three points when the excellent Stephane Sessegnon fed Sulley Muntari and his cross from the left was turned over his own line by defender Zat Knight.
To read the rest of the match report, please see tonight’s Football Echo.