Derby manager Nigel Clough felt his young side did enough to warrant all three points against Bolton.
In the end the Rams, with eight players in their squad under the age of 21, had to settle for a 1-1 draw after battling back from a goal down.
Richard Keogh's own goal in added time at the end of the first half sent Bolton into the break ahead but Jamie Ward headed his 10th goal of the season nine minutes from time to ensure Derby deservedly took a share of the points.
Clough said: "It was a good point in the end when you're 1-0 down, but overall I think we deserved three.
"We created enough chances and restricted Bolton to very few opportunities.
"It makes it a little worse to concede an own goal. He just got a little unlucky with it by getting the slightest touch on it - and the timing just before half-time didn't help us either.
"But we showed great character to come back and get a point, I'm absolutely delighted with the lads."
Bolton boss Dougie Freedman was left frustrated by Ward's late equaliser.
He said: "It's a good point but maybe we're a bit disappointed after being in the lead. We've let a lot of points go from winning positions this season.
"We tried to go two up top with the strikers and go toe-to-toe with Derby, and we were quite comfortable at 1-0 up. But Derby got a deserved equaliser, I must admit that. There's more in us. People might think this is a good result for Bolton, but it's not quite good enough for me."