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Derby County gift promotion advantage to Bolton amid Portsmouth hope and why James Collins fumed

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Wycombe Wanderers held Derby County to a goalless draw at Adams Park, giving Bolton Wanderers a substantial advantage in the fight for automatic promotion.

Paul Warne’s team ought to have taken the lead right away when Conor Washington made a fantastic move to charge down a clearance and give himself a great opportunity to score.

Though the striker considered taking the shot himself, Corey Blackett-Taylor strangely misread his line and squared for him in the end out of selflessness.

Then, as Derby pushed for the breakthrough, Washington saw a shot deflect over the bar. However, Richard Kone’s shot over the bar reminded them of Wycombe’s threat.

But Derby created another fantastic opportunity to take the lead when Korey Smith released Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, giving the winger Franco Ravizzoli to beat. But the winger decided to go for power, and it worked too well as he raced forward in a favorable position.

Derby attempted to make a late charge, but they were unable to produce a winner, giving Bolton back control of second place. As a result, they had to rely on Joe Wildsmith to make an incredible save to stop Gideon Kodua.

Here are all the talking points from the previous evening.

Bolton’s advantage

Given the “Derby way” and the club’s propensity to not make things easy for itself, another narrative twist in this promotion contest shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

Ian Evatt’s team took the lead in the automatic promotion race after this boring goalless draw, and you could practically hear the cheers 200 miles away in Bolton.

Derby will have to settle for the postseason if they win their final games. Bolton will need to put in a tremendous amount of work to succeed, though, because their next four games include matches against Peterborough and Portsmouth.

Furthermore, Posh is still in the running if they win their remaining games. With a win guaranteeing promotion and the title, John Mousinho’s team will have even more motivation to do a tremendous favor for Derby this coming weekend by defeating Bolton.

On what promises to be an extremely tense Saturday, Pompey will receive a lot of love if they can defeat Ian Evatt’s team, while Derby must take care of business against Leyton Orient.

Absence of urgency

The ponderousness of this performance was unexpected given the stakes. Due of Wycombe’s excellent organization in the second half, Derby needed to move the ball far more quickly than they did.

Rather, it moved back and forth, passing through the center backs, and even when the wide players found themselves in advantageous situations, they still desired to cut back inside. And throw-ins appeared to take forever, even in the final stages. And it was all a little strange in light of the fact that this club has accomplished an amazing job of positioning itself to go down in history.

They nearly paid the price for it too, as Wycombe had a chance to win but for Joe Wildsmith’s excellent save in the second half and his valiant efforts with his head in stoppage time. They can’t let this happen again with three games remaining in the season.

Inefficient completion

Derby produced three chances, two of which were gilt-edged, and really ought to have wrapped up this match before halftime. It’s unclear how Corey Blackett-Taylor missed at the back post because Derby would have taken the lead had he connected with any part of his body. A shot bounced over the bar for Conor Washington, and then Nathaniel Mendez-Laing squandered another chance that a player of his caliber absolutely ought to have taken.

When he needed to remain calm, the winger went for a Hollywood finish. Normally, you would anticipate him to give it to you. And it just appeared that the hope that they could make a breakthrough quickly vanished after Derby wasted their chances.

A squad that took a water pistol to a duel produced a final third of zero quality during the second half, which was a complete waste of forty-five minutes. The moment Blackett-Taylor’s attempt at a pass from James Collins went out of play and the striker unleashed a furious rocket towards his teammate summed it all up.

However, in a game where they sorely needed it, there was actually very little cohesiveness in the assault. Furthermore, Derby really didn’t need it at this point in the season, when there is a lot of pressure to produce results.

Even if Derby played poorly in the last third, especially in the second half, the players cannot be angry with the support from the crowd. They would have had every opportunity to vent their frustrations at a missed shot or a misplaced cross, yet they nonetheless busied themselves pulling out hymn sheets.

However, they never once lost their rag in an attack, even if they were toothless. In an attempt to try and inspire some inspiration into a powderpuff attack, they persisted in believing. It was a great crowd from beginning to end, with the away end once again sold out. On Saturday, a response against Leyton Orient is the very least they deserve.

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