Given, signed by Boro on a one-month loan deal on Thursday, will be delighted with a clean sheet on his return to first-team action but it was not achieved without some tense moments. Bolton mustered just one shot on target but flooded the box to pressure Given whenever they were awarded a corner or free-kick near the box.
The former Premier League sides have fallen on hard times of late and the lack of quality on show was clear as the game was scoreless going into the final 10 minutes. Marvin Emmes was sprung from the Boro bench on 67 minutes and drew a foul in the Bolton box with eight minutes to goal. Grant Leadbitter slotted home to put the home side 1-0 up.
Bolton streamed forward in search of an equaliser and were set to get one after André Moritz was felled in the Middlesbrough box. Jermaine Beckford stepped up, with two minutes of normal time to play, but his effort was high, wide and not so handsome.
Boro endured five minutes of injury time and claimed a 1-0 win that moves them up to 15th. Newly appointed boss Aitor Karanka got off to a winning start and will be tempted to sign his goalkeeper up for a longer loan deal.
The clean sheet was Given’s first since a 0-0 draw, in Ireland colours, with Hungary before Euro 2012.