Jay Spearing scores the only goal as Bolton see off Sheffield United
Jay Spearing scored the only goal as Bolton began life back in English football's third tier with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
The former Liverpool midfielder struck a sweet 20-yard volley in the 37th minute after United had dominated the opening stages.
Striker Leon Clarke should have scored with an early header and narrowly missed tapping in a cross from the lively Mark Duffy, before Spearing, then later booked, fired in his first goal since last February.
Both sides kicked off the season with new managers; Phil Parkinson for Wanderers and one-time Bolton target, Chris Wilder, in charge of the Blades. And with nearly 4,500 visiting fans watching on this was not the start Wilder anticipated.
However, Bolton had not lost a home league game to their South Yorkshire visitors since 1977. And they nearly doubled their advantage but for goalkeeper George Long's fine save to keep out a Darren Pratley header after 64 minutes.
Parkinson's only disappointment was the early exit on a stretcher of skipper Pratley with a leg injury.