Newcastle ended both their Boxing Day blues and run of six games without a win as Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba struck in quick succession to condemn bottom club Bolton to yet another home defeat.

Bolton have now lost 14 out of 18 games this season and look in danger of being relegated and their performance didn’t do anything to suggest an imminent revival.

Alan Pardew made some enforced changes to the team that lost late on against West Brom, with Ryan Taylor replacing the injured Davide Santon and Mike Williamson starting his first league game of the season, in place of James Perch.

The first half reflected both sides’ form coming into the game, with no real chances created by either team and sloppy passing leading to frequent turnovers in possession. Yohan Cabaye, on his return to the Newcastle starting XI, struggled to link up with the partnership of Ba and Leon Best.

The best opportunities in the first 45 minutes came to a pair of free-kicks. First, Ryan Taylor seen his sweet effort curl round the wall only to be repelled by the strong hand of Jussi Jaaskelainen. Martin Petrov tried his hand next, but his powerful shot was saved equally brilliantly by the diving Tim Krul.

Bolton tried to force the issue as the second half began, but their attacks were lacking in quality as much as they boasted bravery. Ivan Klasnic was the main threat to the Newcastle defence, but after tripping over his own feet inside the Magpies’ penalty area, it was clear it wasn’t going to be the Trotters day.

And indeed, Owen Coyle’s men soon capitulated. Chris Eagles gave the ball away in a dangerous area and Taylor motored down the left. The former Wigan man clipped a perfect cross to the penalty spot where substitute Ben Arfa was waiting to connect with the sweetest of left-foot volleys to give Newcastle the lead.

Things went from bad to worse for the Trotters soon after, when another sloppy defensive mistake cost them dear. This time Paul Robinson, back in the team after Marcos Alonso suffered injury last week was the man who was dispossessed by Cheick Tiote. The African fed Obertan on the right and the former Man United winger found Ba in the middle, who bundled home despite the best efforts of Gary Cahill.

At 2-0 it was an impossible task for Bolton and despite the introduction of Kevin Davies and Sanli Tuncay, they were unable to prevent Newcastle from recording just their third Boxing Day win since the Premier League kicked off 18 years ago.