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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 September 2007, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Derby 1-1 Bolton
By Jonathan Stevenson

Kenny Miller (left) celebrates his goal with Eddie Lewis
Miller (left) celebrates putting Derby ahead in the first half
The Premier League's bottom two sides Derby and Bolton shared the spoils in an entertaining contest at Pride Park.

Kenny Miller gave Derby the lead from 10 yards, slotting in after some fine control and a cross from Steve Howard.

Bolton levelled when Nicolas Anelka was given time to shoot from 20 yards, the ball deflecting in via Dean Leacock.

Miller blazed over after good work from Jay McEveley, while at the other end Christian Wilhelmsson and Anelka were both denied by Stephen Bywater.

Bolton ended both halves the stronger, but Derby deserved a point for their endeavour throughout.

It might be early to start talking about a basement battle, but this had all the guts and determination of a classic six-pointer.

Derby's David Jones seemed ready for a scrap - he was lucky to stay on the pitch early on after three late tackles, the first of which on Gary Speed earned him a booking.


Bolton, making nine changes from their Carling Cup win in midweek, enjoyed more of the early possession, but it was Derby who created the first real chances.

Stephen Pearson went on a mazy run before losing his footing as he was about to pull the trigger, before the Rams took the lead.

Howard was the creator, chesting a long ball down and turning and crossing in one movement, Miller not having to break his stride to sweep into the corner from 15 yards.

Just as Derby seemed in the ascendancy, Bolton stepped up a gear, Joey O'Brien slamming just wide after the hosts failed to clear a corner.

Nicolas Anelka celebrates his leveller for Bolton
Anelka wheels away after earning Bolton a point at Derby

They soon got back on level terms, Anelka given the time and space just outside the Derby area to play a one-two and send in a shot that took a cruel deflection off Leacock and rolled in past a wrong-footed Bywater.

Derby boss Billy Davies had spent most of the half in typically animated fashion on the edge of his technical area and was spoken to at length by referee Rob Styles after one outburst.

Whatever he said to his players at half-time appeared to do the trick, as twice McEveley crossed and twice Miller went close, the first time his shot brilliantly saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen and the second time the Scot firing over from six yards.

Derby brought on teenager Giles Barnes for his first Premier League action after suffering a foot injury in last season's Championship play-off final.

But it was Bolton sub Wilhelmsson who nearly fashioned a goal, the Swede curling into Bywater's arms from a tight angle.

Just as in the first 45 minutes, as the half wore on, Bolton seemed to get stronger.

Wilhelmsson cut in from the left and Bywater palmed the ball away, Anelka forcing a wonder save from the rebound which the keeper deflected on to the bar and Kevin Nolan seeing his scuffed shot cleared off the line.

  • Derby manager Billy Davies:
    "I think we probably deserved to win it overall. We controlled the first half and had some good chances until they improved.

    "We've answered some questions about our spirit after losing 5-0 at Arsenal last week, the display was excellent.

    "At home we'll cause problems, but I am disappointed to concede another naive goal on the edge of our own area."

  • Bolton boss Sammy Lee:
    "We had a number of chances and with a bit more luck we'd have won.

    "Prior to the game we might have taken a point because they are fighting hard too, but we have to be positive, I'm pleased with the commitment and desire.

    "Four games without defeat is excellent and something to build upon. I didn't get carried away with the early defeats but we'll get ourselves out of it."

    Derby: Bywater, Mears, Davis, Leacock, McEveley, Oakley, Pearson, Lewis (Teale 84), Jones (Barnes 64), Howard, Miller.
    Subs Not Used: Earnshaw, Griffin, Moore.

    Booked: Jones, McEveley, Bywater.

    Goals: Miller 19.

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Joey O'Brien (Braaten 71), Andrew O'Brien, Meite, Gardner, Speed (McCann 62), Campo, Nolan, Davies (Wilhelmsson 59), Anelka, Diouf.
    Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Giannakopoulos.

    Booked: Joey O'Brien, Diouf.

    Goals: Anelka 32.

    Att: 31,503.

    Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).

    Saturday's football photos
    29 Sep 07 |  Football


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