Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Derby County

  • August 19, 2017 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton dropped into the Championship relegation zone, following a poor display which saw them beaten 2-1 at home by Derby County.

After responding to a lacklustre first-half display in defeat to Leeds United on the opening day with a Carabao Cup victory at Crewe Alexandra and league draws at both Millwall and Birmingham City, Wanderers made an unhappy return to Macron Stadium, where their weaknesses were clinically exposed by the visiting Rams.

David Nugent took just eight minutes to break the deadlock for the visitors, tapping beyond Mark Howard from close range, before doubling his tally and Derby's advantage on 21 minutes by heading in unopposed from a Johnny Russell cross.

Gary Rowett's side could and should have been even further ahead at the break and their wastefulness in front of goal provided Bolton with late hope when Gary Madine netted in second-half stoppage-time, but there just wasn't enough time left on the clock for Wanderers to force an equaliser which would have been completely unjust on their opposition.

On the heels of Tuesday's goalless draw at Birmingham City, Bolton boss Phil Parkinson decided to stick with the same team that started at St Andrew's, with Adam Armstrong once again preferred to Adam Le Fondre in attack.

Wanderers started brightly, with Filipe Morais causing a nuisance of himself down the right-hand side, but their early bubble of momentum was burst inside eight minutes as Derby took advantage of slack defending to break the deadlock.

After shrugging off the attention of Josh Cullen following a throw-in, Vydra crossed low into the box and left Nugent with the simple task of slotting home after he had stolen in ahead of Mark Beevers.

With little over 20 minutes gone, Nugent was on the scoresheet again. This time, Russell breezed away from both Andrew Taylor and Jem Karacan before firing the ball across the face of the Bolton goal, where Nugent was there to head into an empty net.

It should have been three five minutes later, with Nugent this time turning provider. His through ball put Vydra clean through on goal but, with only Howard left to beat, he shanked a left-footed shot well wide of the target and Wanderers were left breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Bolton's first half-chance arrived on the half-hour as Armstrong raced on to a flick from Madine, but his first-time effort was high and wide.

Vydra volleyed narrowly over the crossbar as the clock ticked over the half-hour, while the Rams' final chance of the half saw Andre Wisdom advance from halfway before cutting inside and bending an effort just wide of the far post.

Such was the ease of Derby's play, Wisdom, a man with just one goal in more than 100 career appearances, was seen visibly joking with teammate Russell as the half drew to a close at 2-0 to the visitors.

In response to his side's half-time deficit, Parkinson hauled off Armstrong as the players emerged for the start of the second period - with Le Fondre on in his place.

Just as they did in the first, Bolton started well but struggled to find a way through in the final third before shooting themselves in the foot by being masters of their own downfall.

After racing clean through on goal, Russell was taken down on the edge of the Wanderers box by Beevers. In years gone by, referee Steve Martin would have had no option but to brandish a red card for a professional foul. However, by appearing to make a genuine attempt to play the ball, the central defender was shown only a yellow - much to the chagrin of the visiting supporters high in the stand behind the goal.

Bolton saw appeals for a penalty turned down when Madine took a tumble on the hour, before substitutions for both sides saw Tom Lawrence introduced for Derby, while Will Buckley replaced Karacan for the hosts.

Lawrence, making his debut for the Rams, dragged a shot wide within minutes of stepping onto the field, but it was Wanderers who would find the net in the latter stages as Madine slotted home a consolation, getting on the end of a flick from Aaron Wilbraham before stroking the ball past Scott Carson.

There wasn't time for Bolton to force an equaliser and defeat sees them drop into the bottom three at this early stage of the season.

A Carabao Cup second-round tie against Sheffield Wednesday is next for Parkinson's side, who then return to league action on Friday night when they make the trip to Hull City.

Bolton Wanderers: Howard, A Taylor (Wilbraham 81), Beevers, Burke, Dervite, Morais, Pratley, Cullen, Karacan (Buckley 68), Armstrong (Le Fondre 46), Madine
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Little, Robinson, Osede
Booked: Karacan, Beevers
Goals: Madine 90+2

Derby County: Carson, Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Olsson, Huddlestone, Johnson, Russell, Vydra (Lawrence 67), Weimann (Butterfield 86), Nugent (Martin 79)
Subs Not Used: Mitchell, Bryson, Baird, Pearce
Booked: Wisdom
Goals: Nugent 8,21

Referee: Steve Martin
Attendance: 15,175

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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