Off and Running
Nigel Clough returned to his former stomping ground as his Derby County side got their pre-season off to a winning start at a warm and muggy Pirelli Stadium against Burton Albion. Former Ram Paul Peschisolido took charge of the newly promoted Brewers for the first time since his appointment in the summer as they look to their first season in the football league.
Clough had already stated that this game was more about fitness and a first run out for his players than the result and showed his intentions by naming a different side for each half and included trialists' Mark Fotheringham and Patrick Kisnorbo from the start.
1st Half Line-up
tephen Bywater, Paul Connolly, Patrick Kisnorbo, Dean Leacock, Lewin Nyatanga, Lee Croft, Robbie Savage, Mark Fotheringham, Dean Moxey, Chris Porter, Giles Barnes
Giles Barnes showed some neat touches early on without creating any real opportunities and Darren Stride was given a headed chance when he escaped his marker from a free kick but the Burton man headed wide of the target. Chris Porter, in his first appearance since March, was then involved forcing a save from Redmond in the Brewers` goal before he freed Barnes but the youngster rushed his shot and blazed wide of the target.
Stephen Bywater was called into action at the other end coming off his line to beat Robin Shroot to a through ball and despite the game settling into a rhythm Robbie Savage and John McGrath were having an energetic battle in the middle competing for every ball.
Derby took the lead on nineteen minutes when a Dean Moxey corner from the right was headed goalwards by Patrick Kisnorbo and Chris Porter made sure from close range for his first goal of pre-season. McGrath then had an opportunity as Burton looked to get back in the game but his shot was straight at Bywater. Fotheringham, showing some neat touches, set up Dean Moxey but his effort was comfortably stopped by Redmond.
A Giles Barnes foul gave Shroot the opportunity from the dead ball with thirty five minutes on the clock and his effort was on target forcing Bywater to gather at a stretch. Lee Croft had the ball in a promising position after Redmond was forced into a headed clearance but his lofted effort could not find the target as the Burton keeper attempted to get back.
Derby were finishing the half strongly and a Savage freekick caused some problems in the Brewers` defence before the referee awarded a freekick the other way for a foul and Croft then beat Boertien down the right but Moxey could not get enough on the cross to turn it goalwards. Fotheringham had the last effort of the half as the whistle went before anyone could take advantage to close out a satisfactory opening forty five minutes for both sides.
2nd Half line-up
aul Deeney, Jason Beardsley, Patrick Kisnorbo, Jake Buxton, Jay McEveley, Steven Davies, Paul Green, Mark Fotheringham, Gary Teale, Liam Dickinson, Luke Varney
Fotheringham and Kisnorbo were the only players to re-emerge after the break but the change in personnel did not seem to affect The Rams as they earned an early corner after Liam Dickinson had a shot blocked and Kisnorbo powerfully headed the corner against the bar with the ball bouncing to safety. Steve Davies then saw an effort narrowly wide of the target after Varney appeared to put off Redmond.
With fifty five on the clock Stephen Pearson came on for Mark Fotheringham and Gary Teale soon burst through the home defence only for Redmond to again block his effort. Burton had their first opportunity of the second half shortly afterwards when a Richards corner found Carter but he couldn`t get his header on target.
A wasted freekick in a dangerous position from Austin was the signal for the welcome return of Miles Addison after his injury problems and he took up a role at the back in a straight swap. Jacques Maghoma looked to have found room through the middle but his shot deflected to safety and Gary Teale drove a freekick into the wall at the other end as the game was turning scrappy after all the changes.
With just under a quarter of an hour remaining Phillips had a shot blocked on the edge of the area before a Davies cross from the right found Varney but Redmond reacted sharply to tip his effort over before the corner was cleared to safety. Ben Pringle was given the chance to make an appearance with five minutes on the clock and Gary Teale was close to wrapping the game up with two shots in the closing minutes. With three minutes remaining he cut in from the left and fired a fierce effort that Redmond did well to push away and then a minute later from a similar position he fired over the top.
The Scotsman then fired over another cross that Redmond pushed away with Varney in attendance as the game drew to a close with a win for Nigel Clough`s men although both sides will be pleased to get the first game under their belt with no injury worries sustained as they look towards the new season.