Bolton relegated to League One following defeat at Derby
Bolton's relegation was confirmed as Derby boosted their Sky Bet Championship play-off claims by cruising to a 4-1 victory at the iPro Stadium.
The result means Wanderers will be playing in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1993 after a Johnny Russell double and further goals from Tom Ince and Jacob Butterfield sealed Derby's fifth consecutive home win, with the visitors replying through a Zach Clough penalty.
Bolton had to win to have any hope of staying up but they were almost trailing in the fourth minute when a clever reverse pass by Chris Martin put Ince through, but he was denied by Ben Amos as he tried to go round the goalkeeper.
The early signs were not encouraging as Derby found space all over the pitch and it was no surprise when they went ahead in the 13th minute.
George Thorne played the ball in to Russell who was given too much time to turn and fire a left-footed shot from 25 yards past the despairing dive of Amos.
It was an all-too familiar scenario for the only team in the four divisions without an away win this season and they almost conceded again when Cyrus Christie drove at the defence and flashed a cross-shot just wide.
Derby were revelling in the freedom of the park and Richard Keogh's precise pass gave Russell another chance in the 24th minute, but this time he shot over from just inside the box.
Martin curled a free-kick from the edge of the area inches wide but Bolton gave Derby a reminder their advantage was still a narrow one when David Wheater was allowed a free header from a Clough corner only for the the ball to strike Martin.
But Derby underlined their superiority in the 38th minute when Russell swung the ball to the back post and Ince stretched to guide a volley past Amos, who denied the winger a second in the final minute of a totally one-sided first half.
Bolton brought on Emile Heskey but it was hard to see what impact the former England striker could have on a team who were going down without a fight and Russell was only inches away from a third after a loose pass from Kalyne Woolery in the 52nd minute.
Another Derby goal was inevitable and it came in the 69th minute when Butterfield's 20-yard shot deflected off Wheater and over Amos but Bolton did reply four minutes later through a Clough penalty after Mark Davies was fouled by Richard Keogh.
It was the first goal Derby had conceded at home in 441 minutes but they scored a fourth in the 77th minute when Russell scored at the second attempt.
There was another huge cheer when midfielder Will Hughes came on for his first appearance since suffering a serious knee injury on the opening day of the season - at Bolton.