Match ends, Hull City 1, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Hull City moved up to third in the Championship as Chuba Akpom's strike extended Bolton's miserable winless streak to 14 matches.
Akpom pounced from close range midway through a poor first half after Ahmed Elmohamady's shot was blocked, and Sam Clucas should have doubled the lead, but fired over from five yards.
Neil Danns hit the post after a turn and shot with Bolton's best effort.
Akpom sliced a shot wide as the Tigers laboured to their first win in four.
City manager Steve Bruce had demanded improvement following their defeat at Leeds United and after a quiet opening, they soon hit the front.
Clucas' cross found Elmohamady whose shot was blocked on the line by Prince-Desir Gouano, and Akpom reacted quickest to fire in the loose ball.
The lead should have been doubled by Clucas, who fired over from five yards at full-stretch when teed up by Elmohamady's cross, and Akpom then forced Bolton keeper Ben Amos to save as the Tigers finished the half strongly.
Wanderers failed to trouble home keeper Allan McGregor before the break, but almost levelled within two minutes of the restart when Mark Davies drove forward and found Danns, whose effort hit the base of the upright.
Hull struggled to create openings in a disjointed second period, with Akpom off-target from Elmohamady's cross and Jake Livermore's goal-bound shot deflected wide.
But Bolton, who were served with a winding-up petition from Revenue and Customs for unpaid taxes in midweek, could not take advantage and remained bottom of the table.
Hull City assistant Mike Phelan:
"Games are a bit of a slog sometimes in the Championship but we're glad we've come through it and got three points.
"The ideal is to have a great performance and get three points. They made it more difficult without creating a lot of chances apart from they have hit the post."
Bolton boss Neil Lennon:
"They showed plenty of the right attitude. We lacked quality in the final third. That has been the crux of our season.
"I didn't think we played particularly well in the first half in midfield but the second half was a lot better.
"It makes Charlton a huge game on Tuesday night. I would never question their commitment or their attitude but quality counts."
- 21DawsonSubstituted forMaguireat 85'minutes
- 27El Mohamady
- 14LivermoreBooked at 87mins
- 17DiaméSubstituted forSnodgrassat 66'minutesBooked at 87mins
- 19AkpomSubstituted forDiomandeat 77'minutes
- 6VelaSubstituted forDobbieat 72'minutes
- 16DaviesBooked at 38mins
- 21PratleySubstituted forSpearingat 45'minutesBooked at 81mins
- 26AmeobiSubstituted forHeskeyat 69'minutes
- Michael Bull
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hull City 1, Bolton Wanderers 0.
Sam Clucas (Hull City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Dean Moxey (Bolton Wanderers).
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Prince.
Attempt blocked. Jake Livermore (Hull City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adama Diomande.
David Meyler (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stephen Dobbie (Bolton Wanderers).
Offside, Hull City. David Meyler tries a through ball, but Adama Diomande is caught offside.
Jake Livermore (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Robert Snodgrass (Hull City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Jake Livermore (Hull City).
Mark Davies (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Stephen Dobbie (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emile Heskey.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Hull City. Harry Maguire replaces Michael Dawson because of an injury.
Delay in match Michael Dawson (Hull City) because of an injury.
Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Jay Spearing (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Andrew Robertson (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.