Two goals in final 10 minutes lift Black Cats to 12th
The visitors had the lion’s share of the play in a scrappy game at the Reebok, and looked to be taking just a point back to the north east despite creating a host of chances.
But two goals in the final 12 minutes from Sessegnon and former Arsenal man Bentdner gave the Black Cats a deserved victory. And helped Bruce finally get his team on track.
Sunderland arrived at the Reebok in desperate need of a win after a string of bad results left it with just six points from its opening eight matches.
The home side, meanwhile, weas buoyed by last week’s derby victory over Wigan, and was hoping to secure back-to-back victories and claw its way out of the bottom three.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, with neither side able to find a breakthrough in a scrappy encounter in Lancashire.
The pattern of play continued for much of the second, with the visitors unable to find a way through the Bolton rearguard while the homeside struggled to create chances of its own.
Sunderland always looked the more likely, however, and was rewarded for its efforts in the 82nd minute, when Stephane Sessegnon turned home a Sebastien Larsson corner.
Owen Coyle’s men pressed for the equalizer but never looked likely to earn anything from the game, and when Sessegnon played in Bendtner in stoppage time, the points were sealed for Bruce’s side.