Match ends, Birmingham City 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.
Neil Lennon enjoyed a winning start as Bolton Wanderers manager but was sent off for leaving his technical area as they beat 10-man Birmingham.
He was ordered to the stands when Craig Davies missed a late penalty for Bolton after being fouled by keeper Darren Randolph, who was shown the red card.
Earlier defender Matt Mills scored the only goal of the game as he powered in a header from Jay Spearing's corner.
Birmingham's best chance saw Demarai Gray's curling strike hit the crossbar.
There was confusion at first as to why former Celtic manager Lennon had been dismissed by referee Mark Haywood, but it was later confirmed it was for leaving his technical area too many times during the course of the match.
However, the incident failed to take the gloss off a much-needed win for Bolton, which ended a run of four successive Championship defeats.
|Bolton's poor start to the season|
|Before the win, Bolton had only picked up five points from their opening 11 games under former boss Dougie Freedman|
The Trotters took the lead against the run of play when Mills nodded in, prompting Lennon to sprint down the touchline in celebration.
Birmingham created a number of half-chances as they pushed for an equaliser, with Gray denied by a good save from Andy Lonergan just before the break and Koby Arthur firing a couple of shots wide.
After Lonergan tipped another Gray effort onto the bar, Bolton were given the chance to wrap up all three points as Blues right-back Paul Caddis played Randolph into trouble with a backpass under pressure from Davies and the Irishman felled the forward, leaving referee Haywood with the formality of sending him off.
With all three substitutes already used, striker Lee Novak took the gloves, but was not called upon as Davies blazed the penalty over the bar.
The miss prompted Lennon to leave his technical area once again and he was told to take a seat upstairs by the official
Birmingham had a late penalty shout for handball turned down, as Bolton managed to hold on for just their second league win of the season.
Birmingham manager Lee Clark: "I thought we were worth something today. We gave a really poor goal away from a set play, when so many games at every level are decided by set-pieces. I'm frustrated."
New Bolton boss Neil Lennon: "I'll appeal [being sent to the stands]. I've got to. I hope my reputation from my time in Scotland hasn't preceded me. I haven't been sent off for two years.
"My only misdemeanour today was leaving the technical area, showing enthusiasm. Officials need to cut people a bit of slack."
- 1RandolphBooked at 82mins
- 4RobinsonBooked at 24mins
- 26DavisSubstituted forReillyat 29'minutes
- 8GleesonSubstituted forThomasat 66'minutes
- 11CotterillSubstituted forNovakat 58'minutes
- 4MillsBooked at 14mins
- 3MoxeySubstituted forReamat 79'minutes
- 21PratleySubstituted forDaviesat 79'minutes
- Mark Haywood
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Birmingham City 0, Bolton Wanderers 1.
Foul by Jermaine Beckford (Bolton Wanderers).
Paul Caddis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by David Edgar.
Foul by Liam Feeney (Bolton Wanderers).
Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Wes Thomas (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by David Edgar.
Foul by Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers).
Koby Arthur (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Koby Arthur.
Attempt saved. Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Kevin McNaughton (Bolton Wanderers) because of an injury.
Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Craig Davies (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot is too high. Craig Davies should be disappointed.
Darren Randolph (Birmingham City) is shown the red card.
Penalty Bolton Wanderers. Craig Davies draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Darren Randolph (Birmingham City) after a foul in the penalty area.
Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Jermaine Beckford tries a through ball, but Craig Davies is caught offside.
Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Tim Ream replaces Dean Moxey.