Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Middlesbrough kept pace with Derby at the top of the Championship as Albert Adomah's first-half goal earned a 1-0 victory over visitors Bolton.
The Ghanaian midfielder fired in his fourth goal of the season from Lee Tomlin's measured pass.
Liam Feeney could have equalised late on for Neil Lennon's side but directed his header wide from six yards out.
The result extends Bolton's losing streak to three matches and leaves them 19th in the table.
It was a stuttering performance from Boro, though they did go close to a late equaliser when Tomlin struck the crossbar with a free-kick.
Aitor Karanka's side had taken just one point from their previous two matches and they were lucky not to concede an early goal when Ryan Fredericks' poor backpass played in Emile Heskey.
Middlesbrough's win means they are now three points clear of third-placed Ipswich and remain two points behind Derby.
Bolton are just six points above the relegation zone after a poor recent run, having conceded 14 goals in their last five matches.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka: "Four days ago, I was saying we had played one of our best games and lost [against Leeds]. Today, we have played one of our worst games since I have been here, but we have won.
"We have fixed one part of our mistakes, and that is the defensive errors. But now we have to fix the attacking mistakes as well because it is not possible to finish the games with a win when we have problems like this."
Bolton manager Neil Lennon: "I felt we definitely deserved something from the game. Boro were the better team in the first half but we were infinitely superior in the second half and had a few chances.
"It was a huge improvement on the weekend [when Bolton lost 4-1 at Nottingham Forest], and gives me a lot of encouragement going forward.
"The reaction from that result was excellent and Emile Heskey made a huge difference. I am disappointed we couldn't get something out of the game."
- 20ReachSubstituted forForshawat 76'minutes
- 23BamfordSubstituted forKikeat 76'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 25VelaBooked at 45mins
- 14DerviteBooked at 67mins
- 47JankoBooked at 68minsSubstituted forLe Fondreat 83'minutes
- 18DannsBooked at 82mins
- 22GudjohnsenSubstituted forCloughat 71'minutes
- 19HeskeyBooked at 90mins
- 9Le Fondre
- Andy Madley
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Emile Heskey (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. Dorian Dervite (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Adam Clayton.
Attempt blocked. David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Albert Adomah.
Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Zach Clough (Bolton Wanderers).
Kike (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Kike (Middlesbrough).
Dorian Dervite (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Emile Heskey (Bolton Wanderers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Foul by Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough).
Emile Heskey (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Neil Danns.
Attempt blocked. Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Emile Heskey with a headed pass.
Dangerous play by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).
Neil Danns (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.