Derby County 4-1 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 07, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/c0c3a

Bolton's FA Cup exertions came back to haunt them once again, as they returned to Championship action with a 4-1 defeat at Derby County.

Three days after their narrow loss at home by Liverpool, Wanderers were well beaten at the iPro Stadium as Tom Ince and Jeff Hendrick were both on the scoresheet in each half to condemn the visitors to a third defeat in their last four games - and back-to-back losses for the first time under Neil Lennon.

Filip Twardzik came off the bench at the start of the second period and headed home a debut goal, making the score 2-1 at the time, but Bolton's depleted squad must pick themselves up and return to winning ways if they are to avoid finding themselves in a relegation scrap at the end of the season.

Wanderers boss Lennon made three changes to the side that started against Liverpool, as Liam Trotter and Adam Le Fondre came into the team, while Barry Bannan was handed a debut. Eidur Gudjohnsen dropped to the bench, while Matt Mills and Neil Danns were missing through injury and suspension, respectively.

In a first-half almost completely devoid of goalmouth action, the first attempt of the game fell the way of Wanderers with just four minutes on the clock as Dorian Dervite headed over the top from a Bannan free-kick.

A cross-sum-shot from Ince flashed across the face of Andy Lonergan's goalmouth as Derby pushed forward for the opening goal soon after, before a bending cross into the Derby box from Trotter was cleared at the last possible moment with Le Fondre waiting to fire home at the back post.

Liam Feeney was denied a clear run on goal, after Jake Buxton cut out a through ball from Bannan at the midway point of the half, before the same man was just beaten to a loose ball by Lee Grant after Zach Clough had tried to play him in.

Play was stopped for a couple of minutes to allow Trotter to receive treatment on what appeared to be a groin injury and after being deemed fit to continue, he became the first player to enter referee Tony Harrington's notebook for a late challenge.

After that free-kick came to nothing, Derby soon found themselves with another set-piece situation and broke the deadlock with the first shot on-target in the game as Ince curled his shot into the top corner of Lonergan's goal from 25 yards.

Wanderers tried to respond immediately, with Clough seeing a winding run brought to a halt at the death, before two chances in quick succession saw the hosts double their lead going into the break.

Moments after Ince's lobbed effort had just about cleared the post, Hendrick received possession on the edge of the Bolton box and drilled a shot into the bottom corner to give Derby a 2-0 lead as the players left the field at half-time.

Unimpressed by his team's display in the opening 45 minutes, Lennon made two changes as the sides emerged at the start of the second period as he handed debuts to deadline day signings Twardzik and Simeon Slavchev, who took the places of Trotter and David Wheater.

Any hopes that they could springboard Wanderers back into the game were dashed within three minutes of the restart, however, as Ince smashed the ball home from close range to give Derby an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Or so it seemed, as Bolton got themselves back in the game on 51 minutes when Twardzik stooped to head past Grant from close range to reduce the deficit back to two.

Any faint hopes of a comeback remained just that, though, as the game passed the hour. Minutes after Lonergan had done well to turn away a goalbound strike from Jamie Ward, the Wanderers goalkeeper was beaten on 68 minutes when Hendrick doubled his tally for the afternoon by slotting home to make the score 4-1 and effectively end the game as a contest.

Bolton's response was to introduce Gudjohnsen in the place of Josh Vela, who had struggled to make his usual impact on the game, and the change almost brought about another goal as Le Fondre played in Clough, but he shot straight at Grant in the Rams goal.

The hosts brought Darren Bent and Simon Dawkins on for the final 16 minutes, replacing Ward and Chris Martin, and Bent almost made his mark straight away as he shot wide of Lonergan's near post.

The two substitutes then combined to set up another shooting opportunity, with Dawkins this time firing wide of the target, before his ball across the face of goal was allowed to run clear by the Wanderers defence.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added by the fourth official, during which Ince was denied a hat-trick by the width of a post, while Lonergan made the final save of the game to keep out Dawkins from close range to keep the score at 4-1 on a poor afternoon for the visiting players.

Bolton may be severely fatigued after their recent exploits, but must pick themselves up and return to action on Tuesday evening when they play host to Fulham at Macron Stadium. The defeat sees Lennon's side drop three places to 17th in the Championship table, just seven points above the drop zone ahead of a difficult month of fixtures.

Derby County: Grant, Shotton, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Hendrick, Mascarell, Hughes (Bryson 80), Ward (Dawkins 74), Martin (Bent 74), Ince
Subs Not Used: Lingard, Roos, Warnock, Christie
Goals: Ince 39,47, Hendrick 45,68

Bolton Wanderers: Lonergan, Feeney, Wheater (Twardzik 46), Dervite, Ream, Moxey, Trotter (Slavchev 46), Vela (Gudjohnsen 70), Bannan, Clough, Le Fondre
Subs Not Used: Hall, Amos, Rochinha, Threlkeld
Booked: Trotter, Moxey
Goals: Twardzik 51

Referee: Tony Harrington
Attendance: 30,310

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 31 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 31 30
21 Tranmere Rovers 30 23
22 Southend United 31 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 29 11
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