Nicolas Anelka’s second-half strike was enough for Bolton to battle past bottom side Watford at Vicarage Road.
Rotherham is not an obvious place to dig for salvation in the Premiership. They are bottom of League One. But last month’s recruits, Will Hoskins and Lee Williamson, did not look out of place in Watford’s colours. It said as much about their new club as the normally voluble Aidy Boothroyd could manage afterwards.
At the finale, two men in black overcoats stood on the sidelines. Neither exuded happiness, but Sam Allardyce at least could claim relief, having bagged his first win in five weeks. After a triumphant December yielded a manager-of-the-month award and five straight league wins, a dreadful January ensued for the Bolton manager with just two points in four games. And Vicarage Road was hardly a popular destination for Bolton, 12 visits had previously brought just one win. For Aidy Boothroyd’s side, a win, as always, was needed. There were the eight new signings to justify and the small matter of scraping the side off the bottom of the table. Preceding the midweek Manchester United whipping, Watford had managed two wins on the trot and were hoping to continue their handiwork.