For the second time in North One West the Vale of Lune were nilled in a comparatively short few weeks, as Bolton like Eccles, need all the points they can harvest as the seek to claw their way out of the relegation bear pit.
Vale’s sixth consecutive defeat has also brought in its wake huge speculation about the coming months, although a number of pundits think that the Vale have enough points even at this stage stay clear of being plunged into the maelstrom of league survival.
Bolton played to their strengths an excellent pack and a lively number nine and apart from the opening twenty minutes when that tackled like demons to thwart a gung-ho Vale side they were always competitive but in low scoring game there was some compensation for the Vale because they came away with a losing bonus point.
The Vale dominated the opening twenty minutes with wave after wave of attacks but they were unable to punch enough holes in a scrambling Bolton defence.
Following a dart from Charlie Lomas and a charge from Sam Wallbank winger Rob Lamberton appewared to have squeezed in by the corner but referee Sharp had other ideas.
On the snow fields of Bolton the Vale played with their usual vim and vigour, Chris Weeks was always dangerous when running from deep, Ben Dorrington favoured a more direct approach, while Alex Baines was at the heart of the action throughout.
James Birchall looked dangerous when he found space and in the pack Andy Powers marked his comeback with another committed performance and James Hesketh was solid and mobile throughout.
Bolton’s first venture into Vale territory ended with a penalty but Mark Docherty was off target, but it was a timely warning for the visitors.
For the remainder of the half it was pretty equal, Vale continued to try and plot a way through Bolton’ defence, while the home side refused to panic.
With some nasty looking clouds gathering Bolton went ahead in the forty ninth minute with Docherty penalty goal and just before the hour mark with snow falling the full back successfully directed a low flapper between the uprights.
The game was evenly poised, Vale rang the changes and as play became increasingly frantic the error count stated to mount as did a number tactical decisions. But at the final whistle the Vale should have put points on the board when they were in the ascendancy at the start of the game.
Widnes await on Saturday in the rearranged fixture following original fixture which was abandoned.