Away day to forget
Attendance: 11, 552
A woeful first 22 minutes at a foggy Turf Moor cost Derby County dear as they fell to a heavy 3-0 reverse against Burnley as Paul Jewell`s men suffered a third consecutive comprehensive defeat away from Pride Park. Debuts for new boys James Tomkins and Luke Varney alongside a return to the starting line-up for Kris Commons were the three changes from the side that drew with Preston on Tuesday but an early blitz from The Clarets soon found Derby in trouble at the back and the game was effectively over by the midway point of the first half. Goals from Kevin McDonald and a brace from Martin Paterson put the home side out of sight and despite upping their game for the final seventy minutes The Rams never looked like getting back into contention and Paul Jewell will be worried at the lack of creativity in his side as they again failed to make chances when in possession.
Burnley hit the ground running from the first whistle and Robbie Blake was given way to much room when a corner was cleared back in his direction and his cross was hooked wide by Martin Paterson. Another Blake corner led to The Clarets taking the lead on six minutes when his corner was headed back across goal by Caldwell and Kevin McDonald span a shot into the top corner past Roy Carroll.
Commons looked to put his side back into the match immediately when he cut in from the right and let fly with his left foot but the ball flew well wide of the goal but Burnley were soon back on the front foot and Stewart did well to block another McDonald effort. Chris Eagles tried an overhead kick from a Duff cross that didn`t go to far wide and Varney had the ball in the net at the other end but the whistle had already gone for offside.
Burnley then doubled the lead on fifteen minutes when Eagles was again allowed to much room down the right and Martin Paterson slid in to finish from close range. Varney came close to putting Derby back into the game moments later when he took a touch and fired an effort wide of the mark when the home defence failed to fully clear a Kazmierczak long throw.
The match was virtually out of The Rams` reach as Eagles again found yards of space down the right and fired over another cross that Paterson slid in to finish in an almost carbon copy of his first effort. The fog was starting to thicken but Derby nearly got a food hold in the game when Tomkins met a Kazmierczak corner but his effort wet wide and Paul Green then firing well wide when well placed after a fine Commons through ball but halftime was reached with Derby still three behind.
The referee decided the game required a special orange ball to help visibility after the break and Derby made a change bringing on Ellington for Commons as they looked to establish themselves in the game. Eagles escaped the visitors defence but, clean through on goal, he only managed to find the side netting as Carroll came out to meet him.
Luke Varney, playing wider than in the first half, was getting some joy and his cross from the right caused problems before being cleared and Green had a close range effort well blocked by Jensen in the home goal. Miles Addison then came close when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box and he placed a shot but it clipped the outside of the post and went wide.
Burnley broke from a dangerous looking Derby move and Powell dragged Blake down on the edge of the box and the Burnley man picked himself up to curl in a freekick that was superbly saved by Carroll at full stretch. Addison then had two opportunities but he couldn`t find the target as Derby tried dragging themselves back into the match.
Derby had stepped up their performance in the second half but weren`t seriously threatening the home goal and Burnley were contented to hold on to what they had as the fog again closed in. It was a disappointing start to the match that had cost Derby dear and despite an improvement from then on in they struggled to carve out any major chances as they fell to a heavy defeat on the road.
Lively debut from the former Crewe man and was the only player in a Derby shirt who looked to take his man on. Some good moments when playing wide in the second half and always wanted the ball.
Roy Carroll 7
Paul Connolly 6
Jordan Stewart 5
James Tomkins 6
Darren Powell 6
Kris Commons 6
Miles Addison 6
Paul Green 6
Przemyslaw Kazmierczak 6
Rob Hulse 7
Luke Varney 7
Nathan Ellington 7