Full-time: Jamie Ward strikes late to earn Derby County a point against Bolton Wanderers
JAMIE Ward's 10th goal of the season earned Derby County a 1-1 draw at home to Bolton Wanderers.
Ward headed an 81st-minute equaliser after Bolton had taken the lead in first-half stoppage time.
Michael Jacobs was handed his first league start since New Year's Day after England Under-21 midfielder Will Hughes failed to shake off a groin injury that he picked up in Saturday's goalless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Rams were otherwise unchanged, with Jacobs' place on the bench taken by 17-year-old Academy player Jamie Hanson, who was named in a senior matchday squad for the first time.
The hosts carved out a decent opening inside two minutes.
Jacobs' low cross from the left found Ward unmarked in the box but his goalbound effort was blocked by Craig Dawson.
Bolton striker David Ngog tested Adam Legzdins with a shot on the turn but the keeper saved comfortably down to his right.
Derby lost Kieron Freeman to injury just before the half-hour, so Ben Davies was brought on at right-back.
In the 33rd minute, Jeff Hendrick whipped in a first-time cross from the right and Craig Bryson's downward header bounced narrowly wide.
The Rams had a scare soon after when Richard Keogh appeared to handle the ball in the area but referee Gavin Ward had spotted a push on the Derby skipper.
Paul Coutts fired wide under pressure from Sam Ricketts, while Ngog fired straight at Legzdins from a tight angle at the other end.
Derby ended the half strongly but Ward's speculative effort was deflected over the bar.
And they fell behind when Jay Spearing's inswinging free kick from the left was diverted into the net amid a crowd of players, with Keogh appearing to get the final touch.
Ngog volleyed over early in the second half after combining well with Chris Eagles.
Conor Sammon turned Jacobs' centre wide at the near post but the home fans were becoming frustrated.
An equaliser almost arrived just before the hour but Adam Bodgan got down well to palm away Coutts' well-struck shot from the edge of the box.
The home side went close again with 20 minutes to go. Sammon picked out Coutts on the left and his fierce shot was beaten out by Bogdan before Jacobs' follow-up was blocked.
The pressure was building on Bolton and Sammon flashed a shot across the face of goal after a neat turn in the box.
Bogdan kept out a volley from substitute Theo Robinson before Bolton's resistance was broken nine minutes from time.
Jacobs delivered a cross from the left and Ward snuck in at the back post to send a fine header past Bogdan.
Bolton substitute Marvin Sordell had the ball in the net at the other end but the flag was up for offside.
At the other end, Bodgan produced a reflex save to keep out a Robinson header from Jacobs' corner.
It was a frantic finale but neither side could find a winner in the end.
GOALS: Keogh og (45+2) 0-1; Ward (81) 1-1.
DERBY COUNTY: Legzdins, Freeman (B Davies, 29), Keogh, Brayford, Hoganson, Coutts (Robinson, 74), Hendrick, Bryson, Jacobs, Ward, Sammon. Subs: Fielding (gk), Gjokaj, Hanson, Doyle, Bennett.
BOLTON WANDERERS: Bogdan, Mears, Knight, Dawson, Ricketts, Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong, Eagles (M Davies, 84), Ngog (K Davies, 65), C Davies (Sordell, 74). Subs: Lonergan (gk), Wheater, Holden, De Ridder.
REFEREE: G Ward (Surrey).
ATTENDANCE: 22,145 (774 away fans).
BOOKINGS: Bolton - Knight (89) dissent. Derby - Brayford (90+3) dissent.