Bolton Wanderers nearly left their second match of the season without scoring a goal. A pretty poor performance from Bolton nearly left the fans frustrated and angry. That is, until Kevin Davies decided he would be having none of that. In their first match of the season at the Reebok, the Trotters picked the pace up late and took a relatively poor Derby County down to the tune of 2-0.
Owen Coyle made a few changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Burnley, giving Matt Mills his full Bolton debut while Martin Petrov started on the bench with Chris Eagles taking his place on the left wing. Bolton started the first half off well, just like they did at Burnley, before the fire left the match just 15 minutes in. Marvin Sordell and Matt Mills both came close to scoring in the first half while Jamie Ward nearly got in for Derby early on.
Bolton picked up the steam after Owen Coyle subbed Benik Afobe on for Marvin Sordell midway through the second half. Sordell was largely starved for service and was unfortunately not a huge threat against Derby. Afobe provided the spark through his ability to run off of Kevin Davies. The Arsenal loanee came close to scoring on 70 minutes after breaking through the County defense and going one-on-one with goalkeeper Frank Fielding who pulled off a great save.
The breakthrough came in the 77th minute thanks to the captain from a corner kick. Chris Eagles but in a great ball that Kevin Davies got a strong header on. Fielding pulled off a good reaction stop but couldn't push it away. The ball once again fell to Super Kev who hit home on the half volley to give Bolton Wanderers their first goal of the Championship season.
The dagger came in second half stoppage time through Chris Eagles, who thoroughly deserved a goal for his performance. The former Burnley man barged through the Derby County defense and finished very well from close range to ensure three points.
The win gives Bolton some much needed confidence as they are now out of the bottom three (of both leagues they have played in, opening day excluded) for the first time since April 20, 2012. The win was also the club's first clean sheet since taking on Arsenal on February 1, 2012. The performance was by no means good and Owen Coyle will have to figure something out ahead of Nottingham Forest on Friday.