In truth, Wanderers never looked like losing this tie, Sheffield United offering spirited, if limited, resistance.
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Wanderers themselves hardly set the Reebok alight. Indeed, the first half was tepid affair, meandering along much in the same way as the dense mist that enveloped the stadium.
Bolton's half was neatly summed up by a woeful effort on 20 minutes from Jlloyd Samuel. Finding himself in an excellent position on the left-hand edge of the box he cut inside on his right.
The home fans expected a right-foot shot to nestle in the back of Mark Bunn's net, but for some reason he cut back on his left and the chance was lost.
Three minutes into the second half Bolton snatched the goal they hardly deserved but which the clash so desperately needed.
Gretar Steinsson stormed unmarked into the box, latched onto a perfectly-weighted through ball from Kevin Davies and fired low past a helpless Bunn.
Stung by the goal, United took the game to Wanderers but they lacked the guile to open up the white rearguard.
Six minutes from time Johan Elmander - who had only joined the fray a few minutes before - killed the tie off with practically his first touch.
The ball looped into his path on the edge of the box. He took a couple of touches to bring the ball under control and rifled confidently home.