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Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 16:59 GMT
Resurgent Rams sink Bolton
Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates putting Derby 2-1 ahead
Ravanelli scored his first goal in 10 games
Bolton 1-3 Derby
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Derby kept their hopes of Premiership survival alive with an impressive victory over fellow strugglers Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

Goals from Danny Higginbotham and Fabrizio Ravanelli handed the Rams the points after Bolton's Ricardo Gardener cancelled out Malcolm Christie's opener.

It was a spirited performance from Derby, who played with considerable composure for a team languishing near the foot of the table.


Sometimes games like this are all about the result and not the performance - but I got both
Derby boss John Gregory

The match began in the tense fashion expected of a relegation six-pointer, with neither side prepared to give an inch.

As the first half progressed counter-attacking Derby started to create the best chances.

Defender Chris Riggott went close before Fabrizio Ravanelli's header hit the bar after Luciano Zavango's fine run and cross down the left.

But when the goal did arrive it was a gift from Bolton's Paul Warhurst after 22 minutes.

The veteran's attempted cushioned header back to the keeper fell short and the livewire Christie pounced, emphatically firing the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

The goal galvanised the Rams confidence as Bolton battled hard to find a way back into the game.


This is our worst nightmare of the campaign
Bolton manager Sam Allardyce
A lack of goals has been the Trotters downfall in recent months and again they looked short of ideas and movement in the first half.

However, just 15 seconds after the interval Gardner was to provide the breakthrough in brilliant style.

The Jamaican winger left keeper Andy Oakes rooted to the spot as he fired a ferocious half-volley into the top corner from 25-yards.

Bolton were lifted by this moment of inspiration, but Derby held firm and were back in front eight minutes later.

Zavango again broke from defence on the left and when his accurate cross managed to find Ravanelli the Italian striker headed home for his first goal in 10 games.

Bolton huffed and puffed but Riggott and Higginbotham formed a formidable defensive barrier for the Rams.

Derby were still looking composed on the break and when the pacy substitute Lee Morris broke clear he was hauled down by Jaaskelainen.

The referee had no choice but to send off the Bolton keeper, and Higginbotham kept his cool to seal victory from the penalty spot with just five minutes left.


Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N'Gotty, Bergsson (Southall 54), Whitlow (Frandsen 62), Charlton, Tofting (Bobic 71), Warhurst, Djorkaeff, Gardner, Ricketts, Wallace.

Subs Not Used: Poole, Holdsworth.

Sent Off: Jaaskelainen (86).

Derby: Oakes, O'Neil, Riggott, Higginbotham, Barton, Zavagno, Lee, Boertien, Kinkladze (Grenet 81), Christie (Morris 77), Ravanelli (Strupar 89).

Subs Not Used: Elliott, Foletti.

Ref: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Jimmy Armfield
"The Derby revival goes on"
Derby boss John Gregory
"There aren't too many teams looking forward to playing us"
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