Gardner celebrates scoring his third goal of the season
Bolton manager Gary Megson's new contract award was rewarded with a nervy victory over lowly Newcastle to ease the Trotters' relegations fears.
Newcastle, who remain in a scrap for survival, were undone by a sublime Ricardo Gardner top-corner shot.
Bolton's Johan Elmander missed a host of chances and the home side also had a decent penalty appeal turned down.
Newcastle, too, were denied a penalty even though Fabricio Coloccini's shot appeared to hit Jlloyd Samuel's arm.
Bolton's third victory in four games moves Megson's men to the top half of the table and with a visit to Stoke to come on Wednesday, this could be the week when the Trotters make huge strides to secure their top-flight status.
Bolton still in transition - Megson
The outlook is rather more gloomy for Newcastle, who are just two points above the relegation zone with a midweek game against the Premier League leaders Manchester United looming at St James' Park.
Megson's astute introduction of Gardner at the start of the second half proved decisive, helping lift the game from its torpor, with the Jamaican also grabbing the decisive goal.
But it was a match of missed chances, with the best first-half scoring opportunities falling to Elmander, who lacked the composure befitting of a £10m striker.
The Sweden international bulldozed his way through two Newcastle players and his acute shot from the byeline looked to be creeping in until Jose Enrique calmly cleared the ball off the line.
Elmander then somehow toe-poked over the crossbar from six yards when he had just the goalkeeper to beat.
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