Norwich 2-0 Bolton: Surman, Pilkington great-finish
Andrew Surman and Anthony Pilkington each scored in the final 20 minutes as Norwich beat Bolton 2-0 in the Premier League at Carrow Road - after the Canaries lost both centre-backs to injury in the first half.
Norwich would have led sooner but for Surman's glaring miss before defenders Daniel Ayala and Zak Whitbread limped off with hamstring injuries, forcing Paul Lambert into a tactical reshuffle.
Bolton failed to take advantage and Norwich went ahead when Surman fired into the roof of the net from close-range.
The Trotters struggled to create clear chances and Norwich made the points safe five minutes from time when Pilkington pounced after Adam Bogdan had spilt Russell Martin's shot.
Norwich had the better of the first half as Grant Holt caused the visitors problems at the back, and predictably the skipper was involved in Norwich’s best chance of the half – a glaring miss from Surman.
Laying the ball off to Surman seven yards out, Holt looked to have assisted the opener, but Surman managed to fire his shot against the bar with his weaker right foot with just Bogdan to beat.
Lambert’s problems were compounded when, barely 15 minutes after losing Daniel Ayala to a hamstring injury, he lost his other centre-back Whitbread to the same complaint.
But rather than exploit Norwich's weakness, Bolton continued to look timid in attack and created their best chances when Chris Eagles found space to run at the Canaries back line.
And Bolton should have gone ahead when Eagles delivered a perfect ball in from the right, only for substitute Kevin Davies to fail to connect with a tentative swing of his boot.
Bolton, who could have moved five points clear of Blackburn in 19th place with victory at Carrow Road, were finally punished for their shyness in front of goal when Surman put the home side ahead.
The lively Simeon Jackson, preferred to Steve Morison in attack, found space down the right and cut back to Surman, who fired in after his first shot had been blocked by David Wheater.
Bolton pushed forward with greater urgency as the clock ticked down, but the closest they came was a couple of wayward efforts by Martin Petrov.
Norwich then sealed the points with just five minutes to play, when Pilkington tapped in Bogdan's spill after Bolton had failed to clear a corner.
The win leaves Norwich with 32 points and comfortably in mid-table, but for Bolton, their long journey towards Premier League survival has become a little more arduous.
NORWICH: Ruddy, Naughton, Whitbread, Ayala, Drury, Fox, Pilkington, Surman, Hoolahan, Holt, Jackson. Subs: Steer, Martin, Johnson, Morison, Crofts, Bennett, Wilbraham /// BOLTON: Bogdan, Mears, Wheater, Knight, Ricketts, Eagles, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Mark Davies, Ngog. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Sanli, Kevin Davies, Klasnic, Pratley, Boyata, Sordell