Ward On The Mark
Attendance: 22, 145
Jamie Ward scored his tenth goal of the season to give Derby County a point as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers at Pride Park. Jamie Ward had a half-volley blocked just in front of goal and Craig Bryson also came close in the first-half but Bolton took the lead when Jay Spearing`s freekick was flicked into his own net by Richard Keogh on the stroke of halftime. Michael Jacobs was involved as The Rams looked to fight back after the break and his jinking run and cross was stabbed wide by Conor Sammon before the striker fired narrowly wide after a neat turn on the edge of the area. Derby finally found the goal their play deserved when Jacobs` deep cross saw Ward stoop at the far post to head home with eight minutes to go and substitute Theo Robinson nearly won the game with a header from a corner but his effort was well saved.
Michael Jacobs came into the team in place of Will Hughes who was still suffering from the groin injury he picked up against Wolves on Saturday. Derby started quickly and a mix-up between Craig Dawson and goalkeeper Adam Bogdan gave them an early corner but nothing came of the set piece before Jamie Ward was picked out in the area but his half-volley was blocked before it could reach the goal. David Ngog`s low effort was easily saved by Adam Legzdins and Kieron Freeman was replaced by Ben Davies just before the half-hour mark after suffering an ankle sprain.
Davies linked up with Paul Coutts down the right before Jeff Hendrick`s cross was met by Craig Bryson but his header flew narrowly wide and Coutts then fired wide from a tight angle. Ngog brought another save from Legzdins with a low shot before Bolton took the lead on the stroke of halftime. Jay Spearing whipped a freekick into the area and Richard Keogh appeared to get the final touch as the ball flew into the corner beyond Legzdins to put the visitors ahead at the break.
Jacobs was involved at the start of the second period as he beat two defenders before his low cross was stabbed wide at the near post by Conor Sammon and Coutts then fired in a vicious effort from the edge of the area that Bogdan did well to keep out with the ball being cleared to safety as Ward looked to capitalise and the goalkeeper again saved from the former Preston midfielder as The Rams continued their pressure as they looked for an equaliser.
Sammon turned sharply away from Zat Knight but his rasping effort flew inches wide of the far post and Keogh`s header from a set piece nearly dropped to the striker but he couldn`t get enough on his effort to trouble Bogdan. Substitute Theo Robinson had a volley held by the Bolton keeper who was finally beaten with eight minutes to go when Jacobs` cross evaded everyone in the middle and Ward came in at the far post to stoop and head the ball into the far corner to level the scores. Robinson came close to a winner in the final minute when his header was kept out by another fine reaction save from Bogdan but The Rams had to settle for a point as they couldn`t find the winner in four minutes of added time.
Derby County: Legzdins; Freeman (Davies 29), Keogh, Brayford, Hoganson; Coutts (Robinson 74), Hendrick, Bryson, Jacobs; Sammon, Ward.
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Bennett, Hanson, Doyle, Gjokaj.
Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan; Mears, Knight, Dawson, Ricketts; Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong, Eagles (M. Davies 85) ; Ngog (K. Davies 65), C Davies (Sordell 74).
Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Holden, Wheater, De Ridder.