Goals for a former Wanderers hero and the club’s latest star were the highlights of this entertaining tussle.
One-time Bolton favourite Kevin Nolan may well have struck against his former club but it was the Lancashire club’s new Messiah Daniel Sturridge who secured a draw with his fourth goal in as many games.
Nolan is loved in Bolton after making more than 300 appearances in more than 10 years, but there was no question of split allegiance for the Newcastle captain as he opened the scoring with the hosts’ first real sight of goal in the 12th minute.
The visitors had enjoyed a bright start and might have gone ahead before Nolan’s deft, glancing header after 12 minutes, following a neat cross from Cheik Tiote, who signed a six-and-a-half-year deal at the club this week.
If Bolton were dominant before the goal, Nolan’s header signalled a complete turn of the tide, with Owen Coyle’s side struggling to get near their opponents.
They needed some heroic defending from the central defensive partnership of Gary Cahill and David Wheater, who both flung themselves in front of Leon Best’s effort from eight yards.
Best went close again two minutes later with a towering header which flashed just wide.
But with every missed opportunity, Bolton seemed to grow in confidence and Johan Elmander almost grabbed an equaliser with a snap-shot on the half-hour mark.
They were level eight minutes later, thanks to in-form Sturridge, on loan from Chelsea, who raced through Newcastle’s static defence and finished clinically.
Ryan Taylor was making only his second Premier League appearance of the season because of Joey Barton’s injury, but his afternoon lasted just 54 minutes after a rash tackle on Elmander earned him a straight red card.
Unsurprisingly, Newcastle struggled to rediscover their rhythm, with any further chances at a premium for the home side.
But they almost snatched a winner with a minute left on the clock, Jussi Jaaskelainen making a smart stop when Best did well to dig out a cross from the by-line.
After the ball hit Paul Robinson on the chest, Jaaskelainen somehow managed to stop it rolling over the line.