In what could be Sammy Ameobi's last game at the Macron stadium, a late goal from James Henry ensured that Bolton Wanderers ended 2016 with a vital win, lifting the Trotters up into the automatic promotion places.
Coming up against league leaders Scunthorpe, Phil Parkinson selected an unchanged side from Boxing Day's 2-0 win against Shrewsbury Town.
Scunthorpe started the game brightly, with Ben Alnwick on hand to spectacularly deny Paddy Madden a goal from distance. At the other end, Wanderers' first chance fell to Zach Clough, who dragged a shot wide from outside the box.
Scunthorpe then had another chance to take lead, but former Bradford City player Josh Morris headed wide after beating David Wheater and Mark Beevers in the air.
Seventeen minutes in, Bolton Wanderers took the lead. Gary Madine knocked down Ben Alnwick's long kick up the pitch into the path of Josh Vela, who beautifully volleyed the ball into the goal from twenty yards out. The goal was Vela's seventh of the season, meaning the midfielder is now tied with Zach Clough as Wanderers' top goalscorer.
Vela then turned provider for Gary Madine, however the forward saw his shot blocked.
Scunthorpe thought they had equalised soon after. Josh Morris' free kick was headed in by Paddy Madden, but the linesman had raised his flag for offside.
Bolton then had a couple of half chances to extend their lead before the break, with Zach Clough and Sammy Ameobi missing the target.
Wanderers were forced into a change ten minutes into the second half, with Derik Osede replacing Lawrie Wilson at right back.
Ben Alnwick then produced a superb fingertip save to deny Paddy Madden again, but the Irons didn't have to wait long to draw level.
From the resulting corner, Bolton failed to clear and despite the best efforts of Alnwick, Neal Bishop fired home to draw Scunthorpe level.
The game became a scrappy affair, with Scunthorpe doing their best to antagonise Wanderers.
As the game went on, Bolton continued to press for a winner. Gary Madine forced a save out of Luke Daniels from an acute angle, before Wanderers had two penalty shouts turned down.
With ten minutes to go, Zach Clough was replaced by James Henry, and it would be the substitute who would decide the game.
In the 94th minute, James Henry gained possession and saw his shot from twenty yards take a kind deflection on its way into the Scunthorpe goal. 2-1.
Winner winner #bwfc pic.twitter.com/kpchxO0bpA— Beckie Bennett (@Beckie0302) December 31, 2016
The tenth win on the spin at the Macron meant Bolton would go into 2017 second in the league, with a trip to a struggling Coventry City on Monday.