Bolton won away for only the fourth time this season, as they beat Barnsley 3-2 at Oakwell .
First half goals from David Ngog and Jay Spearing saw Wanderers cruise into an interval two-goal lead, but Barnsley got themselves back on level terms with two goals inside the opening eight minutes of the second half from Tomasz Cywka and Chris O’Grady.
Dougie Freedman’s side soon found themselves back in front, though, as Craig Dawson hit home from close range to bag his fourth goal in six games for the club and seal the three points for the super Whites.
After naming an unchanged side for Tuesday’s win over Peterborough, the Whites made two changes ahead of their game at Oakwell, with Chris Eagles and Craig Davies both recalled to the side at the expense of Marvin Sordell and the injured Mark Davies. Davies’
Over 2,000 Wanderers fans made the trip across the Pennines to see the impressive on-loan West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson latch onto a Spearing corner, only to pick up a knock in the process.
There was a big sigh of relief from the whites supports when the big defender returned to the play.. Zat Knight did well to block a strike from Jim O’Brien, before Dawson denied the same man just before the quarter-hour mark.
Those blocks proved to be crucial, as Bolton broke up to the other end of the field and opened the scoring just 60 seconds later. Eagles played a superb ball into the path of Ngog, who saw his first shot saved by Steele before hitting home the rebound from close range.
Craig Davies – whose every touch was booed by the home supporters – had the chance to double the lead at the midway point of the half but miss-hit a volley from the left-hand side of the penalty area, much to the delight of the Tykes fans behind the goal.
The Whites were denied a second goal on the half-hour as Steele threw himself across his line to deny Eagles, while Craig Davies shot over the bar shortly afterwards.
A goal did arrive seven minutes before the break, though, as the Wanderers gave themselves a comfortable two-goal cushion. The Barnsley defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to Spearing on the edge of the box, who hit a half-volley into the bottom corner.
Chris Dagnall had a shot deflected over the Wanderers crossbar shortly afterwards, before Cywka sent a volley into the stands – as Freedman’s side took their 2-0 lead into the break.
There were no changes for either side at the interval, but Wanderers’ were given an early scare as Barnsley pulled one back within two minutes of the restart.
Cywka picked up the ball on the edge of the Bolton after some sloppy play by Eagles, who he hit a low strike into the bottom corner of Bogdan’s goal.
The Whites keeper looked a little shaky and was picking the ball out of his net once again a few minutes later.
After fumbling and dropping a long-range strike into the path of O’Grady. The former Rochdale man made no mistake stroking into the net to make it all square
The Barnsley fans celebrations where short lived as the Super Whites upped a gear once again and took the lead through Dawson
A free-kick from Marcos Alonso forced Steele into a superb save, but Dawson reacted quickest to put the loose ball into the empty net just in front of the travelling fans. Scoring his 4th goal in as many games
He may have been at fault for Barnsley’s second goal, but Bogdan redeemed himself just moments later, O’Brien was played clean through on the Bolton goal, but the Bolton stopper stood tall and pulled off a superb save to deny the former Celtic youngster.
The White really should have put the game to bed moments later, but Eagles was denied on two occasions. His first shot was cleared off the line, before a follow-up struck the head of a Tykes defender and landed on the roof of the net.
Barnsley substitute Jacob Mellis brought a smart save from Bogdan with 20 minutes to go, but a tactical switch from Freedman helped Bolton close out the latter stages of the game. David Wheater came on in the place of Craig Davies, with Wanderers lining up in a 5-4-1 formation.
Tykes substitutes Jacob Mellis and Jason Scotland then fired shots from the edge of the area over the crossbar as the Wanderers were pushed on to the back foot, but David Flitcroft’s relegation battlers ran out of steam towards the end and Super Whites held on and played out the game, to claim only their third successive victory for the first time in over 12mths.
They now move up to 9th place in the Championship as a result, ahead of Tuesday evening’s home game against Blackburn.
Barnsley: Steele, Wiseman, Cranie, Tunnicliffe (Scotland 67), Kennedy, O’Brien (Mellis 65), Etuhu, Perkins, Cywka, Dagnall, O’Grady (Harewood 60)
Subs Not Used: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Foster, Noble-Lazarus
Goals: Cywka 47, O’Grady 53
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Ricketts, Dawson, Knight, Alonso, Eagles (Medo 65), Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong, Ngog, C Davies (Wheater 79)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, K Davies, Sordell, De Ridder, Holden
Goals: Ngog 15, Spearing 38, Dawson 59
Referee: Lee Collins
– Charlie Parker