Bolton boss Owen Coyle admitted his side were below their best as they battled to a 2-0 victory over West Brom at the Reebok Stadium.
Matt Taylor's first goal of the season in the 40th minute and Johan Elmander's ninth four minutes from time earned the Trotters a fifth home victory of the campaign. Not the least of their achievements was a first clean sheet in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, but they largely had West Brom to thank for that as the visitors contrived to miss chance after chance.
Coyle was honest enough to admit the scoreline was more than a little flattering, but he took encouragement from the fighting spirit shown by his players and said: "The important thing was the three points. I don't think we ever got to our maximum in the game."
He added: "West Brom were terrific, they had some great chances to score but they didn't take them. We scored two good goals in the game and we could have had a couple more ourselves.
"There were a lot of nice attributes that we'll need as the season goes on. We had to defend with our lives at times, we stood up and it's great to get a clean sheet. It was a different type of performance but it's pleasing to get the three points."
There were different emotions for Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo, who was left to reflect on a fine away performance ruined by profligacy.
"We're coming away from here again and scratching our heads," he said. "We had more clear chances and we lost. It's tough for us. You get punished in the Barclays Premier League.
"You can't have five or six chances and not score one because it changes the momentum of the game if you score a goal."