Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner struck late in the game to give Sunderland their first win away from home this season leaving Bolton still searching for their first point at the Reebok Stadium.
The Black Cats pair pounced with eight minutes left on the clock to ease the pressure on manager Steve Bruce’s shoulders cranking the it up for Owen Coyle who’s side failed to build on their impressive win away at Wigan last week. The Trotters have lost all of their home games this season and some disconcerting glances from the crowd indicated that the patience of the supporters is starting to be tested as they once again take residence in the relegation zone. Sunderland on the other hand picked up their ninth point of the season from a similar amount of games but their first half display was something to be desired as their hosts took control of the game.
Darren Pratley set the tone going close on 13 minutes combining with David N’Gog down the right to create the chance. The duo were causing major problems for the visitors and linked up again with the French striker doing well to win the ball and pick out Kevin Davies who in-turn found Pratley with a neat ball through only for the midfielder to stumble at the decisive moment. Sunderland gradually worked themselves into the game and had a great chance to snatch the lead and John O’Shea could have done better than heading Sebastian Larsson’s free kick wide of Jussi Jaaskelainens goal.
It was the away side who emerged stronger after the restart and should have went ahead through Kieron Richardson who was denied twice by two superb blocks from the Dedryck Boyata and David Wheater. David Vaughan and Sessegnon went close before 18-year-old Connor Wickham struck the post with a cross-cum-shot that caught Jaaskelainen out in the Trotters goal. Their supremacy was finally rewarded eight minutes from time. Paul Robinson failed to clear Larsson’s corner with O’Shea heading into cross goal into the path of Wes Brown who’s touch set up Sessegnon to fire home on the turn. Bendtner wrapped up in the third minute of injury time with the Danish striker scoring second goal since signing on loan from Arsenal on deadline day turning home Sessegnon’s cross after the Frenchman burst through a weak Bolton back line.