© PA Photos
The home side had their fair share of chances in the early stages of the first half and Chris Eagles tried to take an early lead by taking a shot from deep inside the penalty area, but his effort glided to the right of the post.
Barnsley tried to respond instantly through Craig Davies, who launched a shot at goal but Jay Spearing, who is on loan at the Reebok from Liverpool, got a vital block in to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.
The away side began to take control by the 20-minute mark following a headed effort by Marcus Tudgay, but his chance just drifted wide of the goal.
Bolton began to press and their dominance eventually paid off when a cross from Eagles found the feet of Davies, who fired his shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal to give the home side the lead.