Doncaster Rovers were looking for a quick response tonight after their home defeat against Birmingham on Saturday.
They were at home again, this time to Bolton who came away from Huddersfield at the weekend with a 1-0 victory, due to a 90th minute goal.
Richie Wellens and Abdoulaye Meite were both passed fit and handed starting berths for Rovers. Both men sat out Saturday’s defeat to Birmingham City but returned to the starting XI in place of Mark Duffy and Dean Furman. James Coppinger returned to his preferred position on the wing with Lucas Neill moving back to right back after filling in at centre half at the weekend. Gabriel Tamas - who fractured his cheekbone last month - was named among the substitutes.
Bolton boss Dougie Freedman made just one change to the side that won at Huddersfield at the weekend with Liam Trotter dropping out for Joe Mason.
Rovers: Johnstone, Neill, Quinn, Meite, Husband, Cotterill, Keegan, Wellens, Coppinger, Brown, Sharp.
Subs: Maxted, Stevens, Tamas, Furman, De Val, Duffy, Robinson.
Bolton: Bogdan, Hutton, Ream, Knight, Wheater, Medo, Spearing, Mason, Danns, Lee, Jutkiewicz.
Subs: Lonergan, Mills, Beckford, Hall, Moritz, Baptiste, Trotter.
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)
Bolton opened the scoring after just seven minutes, punishing some lacklustre defending by Rovers.
Alan Hutton met little resistance from David Cotterill on the right and drilled a low cross which was dummied by a couple of his team-mates until Neil Danns ran in and drilled home from just outside the box.
Rovers’ best chance in the early stages came from a Cotterill corner which Paul Keegan met with a bullet header but sent it straight at a grateful Adam Bogdan.
Bolton again punished static defending by Rovers as they doubled the lead on the quarter hour. A long free kick was flicked on by Chung-Yong Lee inside the area with Joe Mason peeling away and drilling in off the post from six yards out.
But Rovers responded in the best manner and pulled a goal back within three minutes. Cotterill superbly curled a free kick in off the bar from 30 yards with Bogdan given no chance.
Both sides continued to exchange chances as the half wore on with Rovers continuing to look a yard off the pace defensively.
Sam Johnstone was forced into an excellent one handed stop after Lucas Jutkiewicz drilled on goal from the edge of the box. And the on-loan keeper produced an almost identical save from the subsequent corner as Zat Knight sent a header on target.
Danns almost replicated his earlier goal on the half hour but went for height and curled a shot over the bar from 20 yards.
Johnstone produced a fine double stop to keep out Jay Spearing’s long range drive and Mason’s scuffed follow up.
Dean Furman replaced the injured Richie Wellens on 34 minutes but not before the midfielder found a great position to force Bogdan into a fine low save.
Rovers almost drew level three minutes from the break when Paul Keegan met a Cotterill corner with a sweet half volley that hit the bar and went over.
And they arguably should have equalised in stoppage time when Chris Brown powered a header from six yards out but sent within reach of Bogdan.
Rovers were much brighter through the second half and looked much more resolute.
It took a last ditch tackle from David Wheater to deny Furman a shot on goal from 10 yards after Brown’s knockdown three minutes into the half.
James Husband looked intent to make up for a poor first half showing with strong attacking play and produced an excellent cross which Billy Sharp just failed to turn on target.
Rovers had a strong shout for a penalty on the hour when Husband tumbled after a nudge in the back but referee Gary Sutton signalled only for a corner.
Lucas Neill was withdrawn with an apparent hamstring injury with Gabriel Tamas coming on, complete with a protective mask.
After the penalty shout, Rovers dipped somewhat and the better chances came to Bolton.
Johnstone denied a long range effort from Danns before producing a stunning low stop to keep out a powerful header from Wheater.
Rovers pushed hard again in the late stages.
Tamas produced an excellent cross which Brown dived to meet with a header but he could not turn it on target from close range.
Substitute Jermaine Beckford could have put the icing on the cake for Bolton when sent scarpering clear but he sent his low effort narrowly wide.
And Danns produced an astonishing miss deep in injury time when Bolton went caught Rovers throwing men forward, powering well wide from the edge of the box.
In the end it did not matter as Bolton held on for the win.