Goals from Jacob Slater and Kitt Nelson earned Preston North End a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers and maintained the Lilywhites’ unbeaten status in the Central League.
Slater opened the scoring on 12 minutes with a powerful header, before Arran Pettifer drew level for the visitors at Springfields just after the hour mark.
PNE retook the lead five minutes later, though, as Nelson slotted home to earn a first victory of the Central League campaign.
North End were on the front foot right from the off, with Aaron Bennett seeing a volley blocked inside the first minute, before Noah Mawene headed just wide soon after.
After a couple of other half chances, Slater put his side ahead on 12 minutes, as Nelson did well to hold off his man and cross for the left wing back to rise highest and head home.
Bolton’s first real venture forward came in the 20th minute and Pettifer could well have drawn the Trotters level, but his first-time effort curled just wide.
At the other end, goalkeeper Ellis Litherland made a good stop to deny a Mawene header, while Tommy Davis then produced a great reflex save for North End as the ball came at him at some speed off of Yestin Shakespear.
Bennett had a 20-yard strike saved in the early stages of the second half, and Nelson then came close on the hour mark, but a defender got a vital touch in the nick of time to deny what looked like a sure goal.
The visitors drew level on 63 minutes, though, against the run of play somewhat, as Pettifer fired a low effort under Davis from the edge of the area.
North End almost had an immediate response through Slater, who nutmegged a defender on his way into the area, but his strike was fired over the bar.
PNE did have their lead back in the 68th minute courtesy of Nelson, who showed class to keep his cool and slot past the goalkeeper after being played through by Mawene.
Davis pulled off a fantastic double stop to maintain that advantage, too, firstly saving from Lynford Sackey, before denying Pettifer on the rebound.
The lively Pettifer then had a big opportunity right at the death, but he couldn’t direct his close-range effort on target, as PNE saw the game out to take the points.
PNE line-up: Davis; Nevin, Taylor, Best; Eccleston (Coulton, 45), Bennett (Wallbank, 81), Kamara, Mawene, Slater; Cross-Adair, Nelson (Rodriguez-Gentile, 81). Subs not used: Hogarth, Seary.
Bolton Wanderers line-up: Litherland; Toure, Trialist, Halford; Sackey, Khumbeni, Tweedley, Pettifer, Frimpong; Loureiro (Sharples, 73), Shakespear (Lawrence, 77). Subs not used: Chapman, Kamara, Burgess.
Referee: Mr J Pettitt.