Nicolas Anelka stepped off the substitutes´ bench to fire a 68th-minute winner against Rabotnicki Kometal and send Bolton into the UEFA Cup group stages and give under-fire boss Sammy Lee some much-need respite.

Lee made seven changes for a match he simply could not afford to lose - a bold gamble and one which at times threatened to backfire spectacularly against the Macedonian league leaders, who threatened on the counter-attack.

But Anelka´s sixth goal of the season, a looping header from fellow substitute Stelios Giannakopoulos, settled the Trotters´ nerves and reinforced the value of a player worth his weight in gold to the unfashionable Lancashire club.

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