Sunderland inched slightly closer to safety but they will travel back to Wearside knowing they should have done better than manage a 0-0 draw at Bolton.
The hosts were abysmal in the first-half yet Ricky Sbragia's men failed to profit, Kieran Richardson wasting two decent chances, as he did after the break.
And Sunderland almost paid for their profligacy at the end, with both Mark Davies and Mustapha Riga failing to take decent opportunities for Bolton in the final stages.
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