Defeat On The Road
Attendance: 17, 050
Derby County fell to defeat in the first game on their travels going down 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. Conor Sammon made his début after joining from Wigan Athletic the previous day and looked lively early on although he was replaced before the end of the match by Will Hughes. The Rams put in a solid performance against a Bolton side looking to get back to the Premiership at the first attempt but fell short in the final stages when Kevin Davies was first to a rebound after Frank Fielding saved his initial shot to give his side the lead. Mason Bennett came off the bench to hit the post but Chris Eagles secured the win in added time to leave Derby without a win in their first two matches.
Conor Sammon went straight into the starting line-up after putting pen to paper on a four year deal only 24 hours earlier with Will Hughes stepping down to the bench and Jake Buxton also withdrew from the team with an illness to be replaced by James O'Connor although he was fit enough to be named amongst the substitutes. Sammon was straight into the action and his lay-off to Craig Bryson saw the Scottish midfielder stab wide of the mark before he beat Matt Mills in the Bolton defence but the former Leicester defender got back to him just as he was about to shoot and his effort was straight at Adam Bogdan. The home side upped the pace and Chung-Yong Lee forced Frank Fielding into a reaction save before Chris Eagles fired into the side netting moments later.
With twenty minutes on the clock Eagles escaped down the left and his cross perfectly picked out Marvin Sordell but the striker fluffed his lines and headed harmlessly over the top. The Rams fought their way back into the match and Paul Coutts and John Brayford combined well down the right but the fullback's low cross evaded Jamie Ward in the area and the chance was lost. Neither side created further chances and the game was still goalless at the break.
Jeff Hendrick burst into the penalty area at the start of the second period and his deflected effort fell to Nathan Tyson but Mark Davies made a terrific challenge to take the ball off his toe. Sordell fired wide of the near post at the other end and Fielding reacted smartly to keep out Eagles' deflected effort from just outside of the penalty area. Substitute Benik Afobe should have given his side the lead on the hour mark when he was picked out by Kevin Davies but Fielding made a superb reaction save at close quarters to rob the Arsenal loanee of a first goal for the club.
With fourteen minutes to go Bolton took the lead through Davies, the striker's initial header from Eagles' cross was palmed out by Fielding but he was first to rebound and volleyed into the top corner from close-range. Substitute Mason Bennett came close to an equaliser when he received the ball from fellow sub Will Hughes but Bogdan got just enough on the ball to divert it onto the post and Eagles put the result beyond any doubt in injury time when he ran into the area and fired low beyond Fielding to secure the three points for Bolton.
Derby County: Fielding; Brayford, O'Connor, Keogh, Roberts; Coutts (Jacobs 84), Hendrick, Bryson, Ward; Tyson (Bennett 84), Sammon (Hughes 69).
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Gjokaj, Doyle, Buxton.
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan; Mears, Mills, Knight, Ricketts; Lee, M. Davies, Andrews, Eagles; Sordell (Afobe 60), K. Davies.
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Alonso, Ream, Petrov, Wylde, Pratley.