ARMAND TRAORE’S first goal in almost FOUR years kept Cardiff manager Neil Warnock in the hunt for a record eighth promotion.
The Senegal left-back marked his home bow after a loan move from Nottingham Forest by putting City ahead on 34 minutes.
Traore scooped home his first goal since netting for QPR in April 2014 after Sean Morrison had won a header.
Morrison doubled the Bluebirds’ lead 10 minutes later as City cruised to a victory that extended their unbeaten league run to five games.
The win took them level on points with Derby and within one point of second-placed Aston Villa and in the mix for what is surely the other automatic promotion spot alongside runaway leaders Wolves.
It was not all plain sailing for Warnock though as his hopes of giving £6 million striker Gary Madine a home bow against his former club were dashed by a broken nose suffered at Millwall last Friday.
The injury news got worse after barely 10 minutes when Jamie Ward’s debut was cut short as he limped off.
The second loan signing from Nottingham Forest joined namesake and fellow striker Danny on the Cardiff treatment tables.
Ward’s replacement, Yanic Wildschut, almost made an instant impact but the Norwich loanee’s effort was blocked by keeper Ben Alnwick.
The Wanderers stopper also made a superb save to deny Morrison but when he again thwarted the centre-back on 44 minutes the relief was short-lived.
Alnwick did well to palm away Morrison’s header from Joe Ralls’ free-kick, but the ball fell straight at the Cardiff skipper’s feet and he hooked home his second goal in three games and third of the season.
Centre-back partner Bruno Manga hit the bar while Junior Hoilett saw Alnwick tip away an effort and Mark Beevers clear a late chance off the goalline.
But their first defeat in four games left Bolton still just two points above the drop zone as Phil Parkinson’s side lived up to their billing as the team with the worst away record in the Championship.
They will surely have to improve on a paltry return of just eight points on their travels if they are to avoid a return to League One.
Strike duo Adam Le Fondre, given a rare start after his weekend stunner against Fulham, and Sammy Ameobi had a miserable return to former club Cardiff with neither able to muster a shot on target.