Derby County 0-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • March 11, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c97bf

Bolton extended their unbeaten run to five games on Tuesday night, as they played out a goalless draw with Derby County at the iPro Stadium.

Wanderers went into the game on the back of three successive wins, having beaten Watford, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United in recent weeks, and their recent upturn in form sees them move up to 16th in the Championship.

Andre Moritz came closest to winning the game for Bolton, as he saw a fizzing long-range strike parried away by Lee Grant, while Connor Sammon should have won it for the hosts in the last minute of the game. Neither side could find a way through, though, as they were made to settle for a point apiece.

Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman made two changes to the side that won 5-1 at Leeds United on Saturday, with Alan Hutton and Moritz taking the places of David Wheater and Joe Mason, who were named amongst the substitutes.

Hutton's inclusion saw him start at right-back, with Alex Baptiste shifting across to the left and Tim Ream partnering Zat Knight at the heart of the defence. Moritz started just behind Lukas Jutkiewicz in the Trotters attack.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, but Jay Spearing's shot was charged down after good work from Neil Danns provided the opportunity.

Adam Bogdan did well to cut out a cross from Craig Forsyth moments later, while expert defending from Knight denied County on no fewer than three separate occasions as they bombarded the Bolton box with a succession of free-kicks and corners.

The two-time England international picked up an injury on the quarter-hour, but was fit enough to continue after a couple of minutes of treatment from the Wanderers physio.

He and the rest of the defence were being troubled shortly after he came back onto the pitch, with Forsyth's cutback to Chris Martin resulting in a tame shot that was easy for Bogdan to deal with.

Bogdan made another fine save to deny Martin as the game approached the 20 minute mark, but the referee's assistant had already raised his flag to signal for an offside against the Rams forward.

Good interplay from Jutkiewicz and Mark Davies almost created a chance for Wanderers at the midway point of the half, while Bogdan was alert to punch clear a free-kick from Jamie Ward at the other end.

Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant did superbly well to parry away a stinging drive from Moritz on the half-hour, as Bolton threatened his goal for the first time, while Ward came within inches of putting the hosts ahead just two minutes later.

Martin and Andre Wisdom came close in the latter stages of the half, while Danns shot over the bar for Bolton, as the two sides went in goalless at the interval.

There were no changes to either side at the start of the second half and it was Derby who created the first opportunity, with a deflected strike from Ward rolling inches wide of Bogdan's far post.

Just five minutes into the half, Wanderers were forced into a change as Moritz, who picked up a knock to his ankle in the opening 45 minutes, was replaced by Liam Trotter.

Once play continued, Bogdan pulled off another save to deny Ward, while Danns was denied a strike on goal by a last ditch challenge from a County defender.

Simon Dawkins saw a deflected shot fly straight into the hands of a fortunate Bogdan as the game reached the hour, while Jutkiewicz shot straight at the goalkeeper at the other end.

Forsyth struck narrowly over the crossbar with a 30-yard attempt at the midway point of the second period, as the game began to settle down in the final quarter.

Grant was on hand to stop a header from Danns inside the final 15 minutes, before Lee Chung-Yong, on as a substitute for Davies, cut the ball back just too much when Jutkiewicz would surely have had an empty net to direct the ball into.

Jutkiewicz brought another fine save out of Grant in the closing stages of normal time, while Danns almost found a way past the Derby goalkeeper - who fumbled his shot but just managed to pounce on the ball at the second attempt.

The final chance of the game fell the way of the hosts, with less than 30 seconds of the four added minutes remaining. The ball fell kindly to Sammon inside the Wanderers box and with the whole of the goal to aim at, the former Wigan Athletic forward shot straight at Bogdan as the game ended as it began - in a goalless draw.

Bolton's draw means they remain without a win at Derby since September 1981, but they are also unbeaten against the Rams in 12 years. Wanderers return to action on Saturday, when Brighton & Hove Albion are the visitors to the Reebok Stadium.

Derby County: Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Bryson, Eustace (Bamford 74), Hendrick, Ward (Sammon 79), Martin, Dawkins (Russell 82)
Subs Not Used: Naylor, Legzdins, Whitbread, Thorne

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Hutton, Knight, Ream, Baptiste, Spearing, Kamara, Danns, Moritz (Trotter 53), M Davies (Chung-Yong 65), Jutkiewicz (Wheater 90)
Subs Not Used: Hall, Vela, Mason, Lee-Barrett
Booked: Kamara, Spearing

Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 23,435

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20 Tranmere Rovers 18 17
21 Milton Keynes Dons 19 14
22 Southend United 20 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 16 2
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