Derby County 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 07, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton continue to slide nervously towards the relegation places, after losing 3-0 to Derby County in a one-sided affair at Pride Park.

The game was as good as over inside 33 minutes, as goals from Alex Pearce and Matej Vydra put the Rams in complete control, while Tom Lawrence added a third within nine minutes of the restart to condemn Wanderers to a third consecutive defeat for the first time since September - when they lost eight in-a-row, all without scoring a single goal.

Having taken strong criticism from supporters in the wake of Tuesday's defeat at home to Birmingham City, Phil Parkinson responded by making five changes to the starting line-up as he switched to a 3-5-2 formation that utilised wing-backs.

In came Antonee Robinson, David Wheater, Mark Little, Jem Karacan and Aaron Wilbraham. Andrew Taylor, Derik Osede and Sammy Ameobi dropped to the substitutes' bench, while both Jon Flanagan and Will Buckley were left out entirely.

Once the action had got underway, it took less than four minutes for the hosts to have a shot on goal, with David Nugent seeing a low effort saved by the legs of Ben Alnwick before Vydra headed the rebound wide of the target.

The deadlock was broken just two minutes later, however, as an unmarked Pearce rose highest to meet a corner from Joe Ledley and head into the corner to make it 1-0.

Bolton's first attempt arrived on the quarter-hour, with Karl Henry's effort from a Josh Vela knockdown being blocked.

The Rams should have doubled their advantage on 26 minutes as Andreas Weimann sprung the offside trap, only to be denied by Alnwick, but they did have the ball in the net shortly afterwards as their dominance was rewarded.

Nugent, who scored twice in the reverse fixture at Macron Stadium, saw his initial attempt saved by Alnwick, but Vydra, the Championship's leading goalscorer, notched up his 20th of the campaign by stroking home the rebound to make it 2-0.

The rest of the half passed by without incident, aside from a head injury which required treatment for Karacan, with the half-time whistle being greeted with a chorus of boos from the visiting supporters in the stands.

Also unimpressed with what he had seen in the opening 45 minutes, Parkinson made a double substitution as Wanderers came back out for the start of the second period - with Ameobi and Noone taking the places of Wilbraham and Burke - whilst a tactical switch saw them line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Despite that, Derby took just nine minutes to add to their lead as Lawrence picked up possession 30 yards from goal, drove forward and fired through the body of Alnwick to kill the game at 3-0.

Vela fired over the crossbar on the hour, an effort which was sarcastically cheered by the visiting supporters as though it was the winning goal in a cup final, moments before Noone saw a goalbound volley turned deflect behind.

From the resulting corner, Ameobi struck a post from a narrow angle, but that was as good as it was to get for the Trotters.

Mark Beevers was twice denied by Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson as the clock ticked into the final 15 minutes, shortly before Wheater suffered the same fate and a shot from Karacan was deflected away.

In the end, there was to be no way through for Wanderers, who had provided too little, too late. A 3-0 defeat sees Parkinson's side drop to 21st in the table, just two points clear of Barnsley in the final relegation place.

Bolton return to action on Tuesday, when they host Millwall at Macron Stadium.

Derby County: Carson, Wisdom, Pearce, Davies, Baird, Ledley, Huddlestone, Weimann, Vydra (Palmer 69), Lawrence (Thomas 85), Nugent (Jerome 69)
Subs Not Used: Roos, Forsyth, Keogh, Hanson
Booked: Baird
Goals: Pearce 6, Vydra 33, Lawrence 54

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Burke (Noone 46), Little, Karacan, Henry (Osede 75), Vela, Le Fondre, Wilbraham (Ameobi 46)
Subs Not Used: Howard, A Taylor, Dervite, Clough
Booked: Le Fondre

Referee: Darren England
Attendance: 25,723

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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