The 20-year-old was brought in for his first start of the season and lit up this FA Cup fourth round tie with his pace and continual promptings down the left-hand side.
Etherington was involved as we created chances in the early exchanges, was a constant thorn in Bolton's side, created the fourth goal and capped it all with his first Spurs goal.
Boss Glenn Hoddle changed things around as injuries and potential suspensions took hold.
Teddy Sheringham and fit-again Les Ferdinand were on the bench as Steffen Iversen and Sergei Rebrov started up front and the left side of a new 4-4-2 system saw Ben Thatcher back in as left-back and Etherington lining up as an old-fashioned winger. Mauricio Taricco also shrugged of a neck injury in time to play.
Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen stood between us and a flood of goals in the opening exchanges.
Only six minutes had passed when he produced his first save, a reflex save out of the top drawer to keep Poyet's rasper out of the top corner.
Five minutes later and he bettered that save by clawing out Iversen's close-range header after Richards flicked on Thatcher's throw.
Rebrov might have done better when Poyet lofted back a loose ball with Jaaskelainen scrambling but the Ukrainian aimed for the far post and headed over.
Iversen was denied again after 17 minutes, this time a drive from 18 yards tipped around the post but we only had to wait three more minutes to break the deadlock.
Anderton latched onto Poyet's headed pass and as he attempted to go around the keeper, he was hauled down. Anderton picked himself up and crashed home the penalty.
Iversen was ready to pounce again after 28 minutes as Taricco read Whitlow's attempted clearance and fed Poyet, he crossed temptingly across the six-yard line only for Barness to take the ball off the Norwegian's toe.
Anderton flashed a 25-yarder just wide but was heavily involved in the second goal. Richards lofted a pass into the box and the midfielder did superbly to hook it back from the byline. Iversen was onto it in a flash and it was 2-0, 34 minutes on the clock.
There was a moment of danger at the other end as Pedersen headed home Ricketts cross only to be judged offside.
The half almost ended on a high. A superb move with countless passes finally saw Anderton's dink into Iversen flicked on to Poyet who beat the last defender only to side-foot onto the post.
Etherington's golden moment followed just 10 minutes into the second half.
Anderton took a quick free-kick to Taricco, picked up the return and shot low to Jaaskelainen's right, the keeper did well again to keep the ball out but Etherington latched onto the rebound for his first Spurs goal.
We kept the ball for long periods after that as substitutions interupted the flow of the game.
The fourth goal arrived after 71 minutes and Etherington was at the heart of it again. He drove into the box, fizzed a low cross in and Barness smashed the ball into his own goal. It was his second own goal at the Lane and after conceding the penalty, he'll probably be glad to turn his back on N17 until next season.
Bolton finally created a chance as Gardner played a one-two with Holdsworth but fired wide.
The final action was at the other end though as Iversen burst through only for Jaaskelainen to produce his sixth high-class save of the night.
Your Say on Bolton
Matthew Etherington was handed his chance - he grabbed it with both hands.