Derby County 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 19, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's recent upturn in form continued, as they played out a 1-1 draw with Derby County at Pride Park on Tuesday night.

Wanderers took the lead in first-half stoppage time, as Richard Keogh turned a Jay Spearing free-kick beyond his own goalkeeper. Craig Dawson initially took the credit, but television replays confirmed the set-piece had resulted in an own goal.

Bolton took that lead into the break and looked set to leave the East Midlands with a rare away victory, until Jamie Ward capitalised on poor defending from Sam Ricketts to equalise nine minutes from time and ensure the two sides would earn a point apiece.

Trotters boss Dougie Freedman made four changes to the side that drew at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with Kevin Davies, Steve De Ridder, and Mark Davies all dropping to the bench, while Marcos Alonso sat out through suspension. Craig Davies, David Ngog, Chris Eagles and Sam Ricketts all earned recalls to the starting line-up.

Derby started brightly and an early mix-up involving Dawson and Adam Bogdan could easily have resulted in a first minute goal for the hosts.

Nigel Clough's side were looking to capitalise on Bolton's shaky start and came close to breaking the deadlock two minutes later, but Zat Knight - who captained the side - was alert to make a crucial block.

Wanderers fought back and had their first chance of the game with seven minutes gone, but Ngog's turn and shot proved to be too tame - with Adam Legzdins making a simple stop.

The next 15 minutes of the game passed with little incident, with treatment for injuries to Derby's Kieron Freeman and then Bolton's Dawson breaking up the play. Freeman returned to the field, but was replaced on the half-hour after failing to recover from the knock.

The next chance of note arrived 10 minutes before the break and Derby should really have taken the lead. Neat play from Jeff Hendrick resulted in a cross into the Bolton box. Craig Bryson met it with a header, which he could only direct wide of Bogdan's post.

Moments later, at the other end, the visitors saw strong appeals for a penalty turned down by match referee Gavin Ward. Spearing's corner clearly struck the hand of Keogh inside the area, but Ward awarded the Rams a free-kick for an alleged push in the build-up - much to the confusion of most people inside the stadium.

Derby had appeals for a spot-kick of their own shortly afterwards as Dawson slid in on Paul Coutts, who had taken a shot at goal. Ward ruled that the ball had already gone and pointed for a Bolton goal-kick.

Ward and Michael Jacobs both saw long-range strikes fly over the Bolton crossbar in the closing stages of the half, before the visitors took the lead in the second of four added minutes.

Spearing's free-kick was directed into the box, before landing in the back of the Derby net. Dawson ran away to claim the credit, but television replays showed Keogh had got the final touch and Wanderers led courtesy of an own goal as the half-time whistle blew.

There were no changes to either side at the break and the first chance of the second half fell the way of Bolton, as Ngog sent a looping volley up and over the Derby crossbar.

In similar fashion to the first half, both sides were struggling to create any chances. It wasn't until the hour mark that the next shot on goal arrived, with Bogdan getting down superbly well to block a low drive from Coutts.

Former Wigan Athletic forward Connor Sammon was looking dangerous and was denied a shot on goal at the midway point of the half, as Spearing tracked back to complete a perfectly timed challenge on the big man.

Kevin Davies and Marvin Sordell took the places of Ngog and Craig Davies for the final quarter of the game, but it was the hosts who continued to look the more likely goalscorers.

Coutts was trying his best to bring Derby level and was denied yet again by Bogdan as the match entered the final 15 minutes, before Sammon struck inches wide of the target three minutes later.

With eight minutes left to play, Bolton's lead was cancelled out - as Derby netted a deserved equaliser. Poor defending in the Wanderers box resulted in Ward ghosting in ahead of Ricketts and sending an unstoppable header beyond Bogdan.

The visiting supporters thought Bolton had restored their lead two minutes later as Sordell had the ball in the net, but his strike was correctly ruled out for offside by the referee's assistant.

Mark Davies was introduced as a late substitute as Wanderers pressed forward for a winner, but it was Derby who came closest to claiming all three points - as Theo Robinson's point-blank header was stopped by the acrobatics of Bogdan.

Four minutes of stoppage time passed by with neither side having a shot on goal, as they were both made to settle for a 1-1 draw. The result sees Bolton remain 16th in the Championship, while Derby sit in 9th.

Freedman will be hoping his side can extend their unbeaten run to four games on Saturday, when they face promotion-chasing Hull City at the Reebok Stadium.

Derby County: Legzdins, Hoganson, Brayford, Keogh, Freeman (Davies 29), Coutts (Robinson 74), Bryson, Hendrick, Jacobs, Ward, Sammon
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Doyle, Bennett, Gjokaj, Hanson
Goals: Ward 81

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Mears, Knight, Dawson, Ricketts, Eagles (M Davies 85), Spearing, Chung-Yong, Pratley, Ngog (K Davies 65), C Davies (Sordell 74)
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Holden, Wheater, De Ridder
Booked: Knight
Goals: Keogh 45(og)

Referee: Gavin Ward
Attendance: 22,145

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
View Full Standings >>


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