Daniel Sturridge admitted Bolton felt they owed their fans after claiming a 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Around 25,000 Bolton supporters travelled to Wembley last week with high hopes of beating Stoke and booking their place in the FA Cup final.
But they headed back to Lancashire shell-shocked after suffering a 5-0 drubbing.
Sturridge returned against Arsenal on Sunday as the on-loan Chelsea striker was ineligible for last week's semi-final.
The 21-year-old opened the scoring for the Trotters and later said the Bolton players were determined to make amends for their cup exit.
"We're just delighted to come out here and work hard," he told Sky Sports.
"After last week's result we wanted to come here and show the fans we had the passion.
"A lot of fans were very unhappy with last week, we did this for the fans today."
Sturridge gave Bolton a deserved lead in the 38th minute with his seventh goal in nine games for Owen Coyle's men.
Robin van Persie then claimed a 48th-minute equaliser and Arsenal spurned several chances as they pushed for the win they needed to keep alive their title hopes.
But Bolton sub Tamir Cohen headed the winner from Matt Taylor's 90th-minute corner.
The Israeli midfielder then took his shirt off to reveal a t-shirt paying tribute to his late father, the former Liverpool player Avi, who died last December following a motorbike accident.
"I came on to protect the 1-1," said Cohen, who was clearly emotional during the goal celebrations and his post-match interview.
"I am very happy to score this goal, it's been a very emotional season for me.
"I am happy we won and collected another three points."