Birmingham 2 Bolton 0
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Birmingham City moved to the dizzy heights of fifth and strengthened their chances of claiming a European place following a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
Sam Allardyce's men looked like they were still suffering from their League Cup final heartache and were undone by goals from Mikael Forssell and Bryan Hughes.
Bolton started very flat but had the first chance, however Jay-Jay Okocha failed to display his set-piece skills when he blazed high and wide from a free-kick.
Clinton Morrison almost opened the scoring for Steve Bruce's side but his drilled cross-shot was parried out of play for a corner by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Jaaskelainen will be disappointed for his part in Birmingham's opener as he allowed Forssell's close-range effort, his 14th of the campaign, to sneak into the net on 24 minutes.
The Finnish striker collected Morrison's pass before flicking the ball over Ivan Campo and directing the ball goalwards only for his fellow countryman to palm the ball into the net.
Despite failing to threaten regularly Anthony Barness tried his luck with a left-footed volley but Maik Taylor barely had to move as the effort drifted wide.
Bolton suffered a blow after the break when Youri Djorkaeff was forced off due to injury with Allardyce bringing on Henrik Pedersen to replace the World Cup winner.
Bryan Hughes then headed Morrison's right wing cross over the bar as Blues looked for a winner, however the former Wrexham man made no mistake shortly afterwards.
This time Johnson was the creator, with the former Blackburn man working space to cross before finding Hughes at the back post who could not miss from close range.
The home side really should have added to their lead however Johnson, and then Forssell, who were both one-on-one with Jaaskelainen, failed to score after Bolton defensive mistakes.
The Trotters almost pulled one back that could have set-up a grandstand finish, but Simon Charlton's point-blank effort was saved by Taylor following Pedersen's glancing header.
A poor performance might not be Bolton fans' only concern following the game, after star midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha was replaced in the second half and departed straight to the dressing room.