Birmingham City eased their relegation worries and climbed out of the bottom three after a vital 2-1 win over Bolton at St Andrews.
Manager Alex McLeish gave a first Premier League start of the season to the evergreen Kevin Phillips, and the 37-year-old repaid him with his first league goal of the campaign inside four minutes.
Seb Larsson’s corner found its way to striker Phillips who blasted in from just inside the box, although Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen will be disappointed not to have kept the shot out.
Bolton struggled to get going for the first half hour, though only superb reflexes from Birmingham gloveman Ben Foster denied an equaliser.
Daniel Sturridge fired three fizzing left-foot drives at goal but Foster did well to get down low and deny the on-loan Chelsea striker.
At the other end, Cameron Jerome should have made it two when he was put clear, but he got his shot horribly wrong, much to the disgust of an unmarked Phillips on the 18-yard line.
Birmingham did have the ball in the Bolton net just two minutes after the break. Phillips’ shot was saved, Lee Bowyer headed across goal and Larsson converted – but the Swede was flagged for offside.
Jaaskelainen then denied Roger Johnson with a fine save from a Birmingham corner.
But the second goal finally came in the 59th minute when Craig Gardner played a one-two with Jerome on the edge of the box before smashing the ball in off the post.
Johan Elmander pulled one back for Bolton with 20 minutes to go, firing in from the edge of the box after a long ball was nodded down to him.
The goal made for a nervy end to the game for the home side, and two more world-class saves from Foster in injury time secured the win.
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