Connor Wickham’s fourth goal of the season handed struggling Forest Green just their second home win of the season.
The former Crystal Palace striker pounced 13 minutes before the break to grab a vital victory for Ian Burchnall’s side.
It was Forest Green who conjured the first meaningful chance on 12 minutes. Reece Brown and Kyle McAllister opened the Trotters up, but Armani Little fluffed his lines – firing into the feet of on-loan Manchester City keeper James Trafford as the net bulged in anticipation.
Chances were at a premium but Rovers got their noses in front 13 minutes before the break – Corey O’Keeffe’s run and cross from the byeline found the predatory Wickham lurking inside the box to thump in his fourth goal in five games beyond the helpless Trafford.
Bolton’s first chance in anger arrived six minutes after the resumption – the unmarked Dion Charles heading woefully wide of the mark from Jack Iredale’s cross.
Bolton cranked up the heat and were a whisker from a 58th-minute equaliser, but were denied by McGee’s sharp reflexes as he got down quickly to thwart Charles.
It was Charles who should have snatched a point for the Trotters with six minutes to go, but he elected to drill the ball into McGee. With a minute of normal time to go Bolton substitute, Kieran Sadler volleyed wide with just McGee to beat as Rovers held on.
Match ratings out of 10
Forest Green Rovers: McGee 7, O’Keeffe 8, Cargill 7, Stevenson 7, Hendry 7 (March 6, 73), Little 6, Moore-Taylor 7, McAllister 6, Wickham 7( Peart-Harris 6, 79), Marques 6, Brown 6
Subs: Thomas, Bernard, Casey, Boyes, Bunker
Bookings: McAllister (20), Marques (58), Hendry (65), Cargill (83)
Bolton Wanderers: Trafford, Jones, Williams, Santos, Johnston (Iredale, 45), Charles, Leed, Bradley (Sadlier, 78), Kachunga (Bodvarsson, 70), John, Thomason (Afolayan, 63)
Subs: Morley, Sheehan, Aimson
FGR star man: Corey O’Keeffe
Referee: Marc Edwards