Chris Martin caused former boss Dougie Freedman double trouble as Derby extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at Bolton.
Martin, a former Crystal Palace loanee when Freedman was in charge at Selhurst Park, also missed a first half penalty as Steve McClaren’s upwardly mobile side claimed three points at a canter.
By contrast, Wanderers slumped to a third defeat in eight days and are now back in the relegation zone with a trip to bottom of the table Fulham to come on Wednesday.
Angry Wanderers fans, sparked by two separate mini pitch invasions midway through the second half, turned on Freedman and chairman, Phil Gartside.
‘Freedman out’ and ‘Gartside out’ rang out around the Macron Stadium as the Trotters slumped to a sixth defeat in nine Championship games.
Derby led 1-0 at half-time but could have been further clear. Martin turned in impressive right back Cyrus Christie’s right wing cross after 38 minutes to earn the Rams their deserved interval advantage.
But the former Norwich marksman’s fifth goal of the season-and first in five matches- should have come 30 minutes earlier.
Craig Bryson was sent sprawling by a combination of Kevin McNaughton and Matt Mills. But Andy Lonergan, outstanding in Wanderers’ midweek League Cup exit at Chelsea, guessed correctly as Martin fired a right footed spot kick towards the keeper’s right.
Inspired by their stopper, Bolton hit back and Joe Mason’s close range effort was turned aside for a corner. On loan Mason, scorer of a hat-trick on his last home appearance, had another goal bound effort blocked by Richard Keogh.
However, Derby always looked the more fluent side with top scorer Jamie Ward’s left foot curler from 18 yards almost breaking the deadlock before Martin struck from six yards. There were predictable boos from the home crowd as Wanderers trudged off at the break.
And the simmering mood of discontent turned into mutiny after Martin slammed County 2-0 in front with a rising left foot blast from 12 yards after poor defensive work by the home team.
Shortly after two fans ran onto the pitch; one grabbing the corner flag and prancing in front of stewards before being led away. Minutes later another supporter forced a further hold up as he paraded in front of the Nat Lofthouse Stand.
Mason had a late goal disallowed but Wanderers never came close to rescuing a game that brought bookings for Wanderers’ Dean Moxey and Mark Davies plus Derby’s Will Hughes.
And while Martin’s brace proved paradise for Derby, it was purgatory for Freedman as fans again demanded his resignation at the final whistle.