Match ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Derby County 2.
David Nugent scored both goals as Derby County condemned Bolton Wanderers to their second home defeat since returning to the Championship.
Nugent netted twice inside the opening 21 minutes, flicking home the opener following some fine work by Matej Vydra on the left before nodding in his second from a Johnny Russell cross.
Vydra then wasted two chances and Andre Wisdom went close before the break.
In the 92nd minute, Gary Madine pounced to score what was a consolation goal.
The close-range injury-time strike was the only shot on target by Bolton, a side who have collected both their points in the competition this season away from the Macron Stadium, and who rarely troubled the Rams.
With Wales winger Tom Lawrence, a £5m midweek signing from Leicester City, coming off the bench for Derby, the differences between them and Bolton, a club under transfer embargo and which has a prominent shareholder facing a winding-up petition in two days' time, was stark.
Nugent's brace of goals took his tally to eight goals in his past 12 league starts for Derby and, while Vyrdra was key in creating the opener, the Czech striker's finishing was less polished as he fired wide after going clear through on goal before then volleying over.
The Trotters had what would have been an earlier chance to pull a goal back waved away by referee Steve Martin, as Madine was hauled down in the box and penalty appeals were made in vain.
Madine eventually scored, but it was not enough as Derby won for the second time in four days and Bolton slipped to their 14th defeat in their past 20 games in the second tier, dating back to 13 February 2016.
Bolton manager Phil Parkinson:
"You can talk about Derby's movement but the goals were soft from our point of view. Both we should have avoided and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb against a good side.
"The first one came from a throw-in and if you look at the footage and think in five seconds it was going to end up in the back of our net you wouldn't believe it.
"Simple things like that have got to be done better."
Derby manager Gary Rowett:
"Nugent is a brilliant all-round player for us in the Championship - his finishes were great.
"To score two goals in the way we did was great but we should have come in four or five-nil up.
"The fact we didn't made the game edgy in the second half. We started the second half a bit sloppily for five or 10 minutes and made a few poor decisions.
"That invited an opportunity for Bolton and their crowd to get a bit of momentum."
- 5BeeversBooked at 57mins
- 3TaylorSubstituted forWilbrahamat 81'minutes
- 8KaracanBooked at 35minsSubstituted forBuckleyat 68'minutes
- 20ArmstrongSubstituted forLe Fondreat 45'minutes
- 9Le Fondre
- 14WisdomBooked at 79mins
- 23VydraSubstituted forLawrenceat 67'minutes
- 19WeimannSubstituted forButterfieldat 86'minutes
- 28NugentSubstituted forMartinat 79'minutes
- Steve Martin
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 1, Derby County 2.
Richard Keogh (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mark Beevers (Bolton Wanderers).
Goal! Bolton Wanderers 1, Derby County 2. Gary Madine (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Wilbraham.
Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Dorian Dervite tries a through ball, but Aaron Wilbraham is caught offside.
Substitution, Derby County. Jacob Butterfield replaces Andreas Weimann.
Hand ball by William Buckley (Bolton Wanderers).
Bradley Johnson (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Darren Pratley (Bolton Wanderers).
Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Aaron Wilbraham replaces Andrew Taylor.
Foul by Andre Wisdom (Derby County).
Andrew Taylor (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Derby County. Chris Martin replaces David Nugent.
Andre Wisdom (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Andre Wisdom (Derby County).
William Buckley (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Richard Keogh.
Foul by David Nugent (Derby County).