David Nugent Sinks Bolton
Hahahahahahahahahaha. I thought we were ever so slightly growing into this league, in a position where we might have been able to get a statement result. No. Not at all. Derby were always going to be a test but a first half absolutely blew that theory out of the water.
Whether the Rams specifically had a plan to exploit us in wide areas I don`t know, but that is what happened in a first half where we simply couldn`t lay a glove. A cross came in from their left via Mate Vydra and veteran striker David Nugent needed no invitation to turn the ball home. Having made the Macron a fortress of sorts in League One, in this division we were once again behind early doors on our own turf.
Later in the first half, a goal from a similar plan of attack worked. This time, it was Johnny Russell on the other flank, but Nugent was again in the area, more alert than anybody, and Derby were two up. And let`s not dress this up, they had other chances. Gary Rowett reckoned they could have been four or five up at the break, and they certainly missed two big chances. We should have been 4-0 down at the break. Vydra volleyed narrowly over the bar, and Andre Wisdom of all people firing wide.
The second half, was in fairness, better. That may have been down to Derby downing tools a little, but it did allow us a few chances. Unfortunately, in terms of the result, we could only make it interesting in injury time. Gary Madine had started to have a bit more space having been pretty ineffectual in the first half. A few minutes earlier, there was a nice flick to play In a player, but then Madine got free in the 18 yard box to at least soil Derby`s clean sheet.
It is only four games in, but today was a crossroads of sorts. Imagine an alternative universe where we won this game. Five points from four, a home win off our back, would have given us a bit of confidence and an unequivocal good start to the season. Instead, we`re still winless, have a tricky game at Hull next weekend, and then an international week. We`ve started poorly before of course, but tough league or not we simply cannot afford to be a soft touch at home. On the flip side, we`ve played four games. No need for hot-takes, just yet.