2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Alex Pearce (6')
  • Matej Vydra (33')
  • Tom Lawrence (54')

Three and easy as Derby brush aside struggling Bolton

Derby clinched their first win at home since February 3 as they maintained their Sky Bet Championship play-off challenge by brushing aside struggling Bolton 3-0 at Pride Park Stadium.
The Rams were winless in four on their own patch but the result never looked in doubt from the moment Alex Pearce head home in the sixth minute for his first goal of the season.
Matej Vydra struck just after the half hour mark before Tom Lawrence made sure there was no way back for Wanderers with a fine finish nine minutes after half-time.
Bolton, who only tested Scott Carson when the game had gone, drop a place to 21st in the second tier and are only two points above the relegation zone after Barnsley overcame Sheffield United in the lunchtime kick-off.
Bolton, whose last visit to Derby ended in a 4-1 defeat which confirmed their relegation to League One, found themselves immediately under pressure.
Reece Burke's clearance was charged down by David Nugent and Vydra went through on the right before setting up Nugent, whose scuffed shot hit Bolton goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.
It was a big miss but more poor Bolton defending a minute later resulted in a corner which the unmarked Pearce headed into the bottom left corner from eight yards.
That left Bolton with a massive task to try and get something from the afternoon because they had not scored more than once in a game since late December and there were few signs they were going to break that run.
Despite some decent possession, they did not look capable of hurting Derby and they slid deeper into trouble in the 33rd minute when the home side scored again.
Bolton were opened up too easily by Andreas Weimann's measured pass which sent Nugent through and although his shot was parried by Alnwick, Vydra was left with an easy tap-in for his 19th Championship goal of the season.
The visitors had played with a lack of intensity in the first half so it was no surprise that manager Phil Parkinson made two changes for the second by taking off Aaron Wilbraham and Burke, with Sammy Ameobi and Craig Noone introduced.
But any hope of a Bolton recovery was extinguished in the 54th minute when Lawrence pounced on a loose ball and was allowed to stride forward unchallenged before driving a low shot from 20 yards into the bottom right corner.
Ironic cheers from the Bolton fans greeted Josh Vela's wayward 25-yard shot in the 58th minute which was their first effort on goal but Ameobi went close five minutes later when he rattled Carson's right post from 10 yards.
Carson twice denied Mark Beevers in the space of a minute and Curtis Davies cleared a deflected shot off the line but it was too little, too late from Bolton.

English League Championship Standings

1 Fulham 21 +33 44
2 AFC Bournemouth 21 +20 43
3 West Bromwich Albion 21 +12 37
4 Blackburn Rovers 21 +8 36
5 Queens Park Rangers 21 +6 35
6 Stoke City 21 +5 34
7 Coventry City 21 +3 33
8 Millwall 21 +1 30
9 Middlesbrough 21 +1 29
10 Sheffield United 21 0 29
11 Huddersfield Town 21 0 29
12 Luton Town 21 +4 28
13 Nottingham Forest 21 +3 28
14 Swansea City 21 -2 27
15 Blackpool 21 -5 27
16 Birmingham City 21 -4 26
17 Bristol City 21 -8 26
18 Preston North End 21 -5 25
19 Hull City 21 -7 22
20 Reading 21 -6 21
21 Cardiff City 21 -14 21
22 Peterborough United 21 -23 16
23 Barnsley 21 -18 13
24 Derby County 21 -4 1