Luke Varney's sixth minute goal earns the points...
BOLTON 0, UNITED 1 (Varney 6) .
Bolton: Bogdan, Baptiste, Tierney (Kamara 85), Mills, Knight (Beckford 61), Ream, Spearing, Pratley, Eagles (Hall 67), Lee, Ngog. Subs. Lonergan, Wheater, Moritz, Mears.
United: Kenny, Peltier (Lees 53), Wootton, Pearce, Warnock, Tonge, Murphy, Austin, McCormack, Varney, Hunt. Subs. Cairns, Mowatt, Green, Diouf, Smith, Poleon.
Referee: A D'Urso
Bookings: Mills, Spearing (Bolton)
United manager Brian McDermott made one change to his team for the trip to Bolton Wanderers with the inclusion of Michael Tonge in the starting line-up. Tonge replaced Paul Green in midfield diamond. There was also a place for Alex Mowatt on the United bench after impressive displays for the Development Squad.
United's travelling support were in good voice during the opening minutes and their support was rewarded within six minutes of the kick off. United gained a corner after good work from Noel Hunt and Jason Pearce. Luke Murphy took the corner and the midfielder's cross was perfect for Luke Varney's glancing header to beat Adam Bogdan in the Bolton net to make it 1-0.
Varney's early goal silenced the home support inside the Reebok. The unrest was reflected on the pitch with a home side that looked low in confidence while still searching for their first Championship win.
The opening 25 minutes of the half brought very little goal-mouth action but United were the side commanding the lions share of possession and controlled the game.
On the half-hour mark the home side created their first meaningful chance of the contest. After good hold up play from David Ngog in the United area, the striker played the ball into the path of Darren Pratley but the midfielder's shot went wide of the mark.
The home side began to come into the game as the half drew towards its conclusion but it was United that were close to doubling their advantaage. United striker Hunt pressured Zak Knight following a clearance forward. After a show of strength the possession was with the Irishman who played the ball into the path of the advancing Ross McCormack, who held the ball up. He returned the favour and set-up Hunt who's effort on goal went just wide of the post.
The final action of the opening 45 minutes saw Varney come close to giving United a two goal lead before the interval. McCormack found himself on the ball after a mix-up in the Bolton midfield and his pass set-up the onrushing Varney. United's goalscorer's strike from just outside the penalty area curled towards the back post, the keeper was beaten but skimmed the outside of the post and went harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
Early into the second half United were dealt a blow when Lee Peltier was forced to be withdrawn from proceedings. United manager Brian McDermott called on the services on Tom Lees with the defender filling in at right-back.
Just as in the first half, the home support were showing their frustrations. That frustration was also shown by the home players with early bookings to Matt Mills and Jay Spearing. Former United striker Jermaine Beckford was introduced to proceedings on the hour mark.
With 20 minutes remaining the game sparked into life. First, great work from Varney almost brought his second goal of the game but a good save from Bogdan twarted the striker. Then, with the the introduction of Robert Hall, the home side attacked. The winger's skill created the move that ended with Beckford shooting. The former United's man near post strike was blocked by Jason Pearce with the resulting corner not bringing any danger.
Moments later United were awarded a free-kick to the right of the Bolton penalty area. The resulting free-kick was close to giving United the upper-hand through an unlikely outcome, when, Tim Ream in the home defence almost turned the ball into his own net.
With 10 minutes remaining United were once again on the attack. United substitute Lees crossed for Luke Murphy but he could only convert his headed attempt over the bar. Murphy again tried his luck when he shot just one minute later but the effort when over the crossbar.
The home side threatened the United goal when Beckford and Ngog combined in the area, but the resulting shot from Ngog went just wide with five minutes remaining.
Pressure on the United goal became more frequent in the final minutes with Ngog twice threatening Paddy Kenny with strikes from distance.
Five minutes of injury time was added on by the fourth official as United looked to hang on to Varney's sixth minute goal.
With three of the five added minutes gone Bolton came closest to drawing the tie when Pratley struck the post. Pratley's effort against the post proved to be final action of the match and Varney's sixth minute goal secured victory at the Reebok.