Porter Strike Beats Stoke
Attendance: 10, 386
Chris Porter struck early on as The Rams claimed a 1-0 victory over Premier League Stoke City in their penultimate pre-season friendly. Kris Commons cross picked out the former Motherwell striker and his header beat Asimir Begovic only seven minutes in to give Derby the lead. Nigel Clough`s side again played some neat football and knocked the ball around well to keep their opponents at arms length and Russell Anderson and Dean Leacock stood up admirably to the test from a number of long balls to Stoke`s muscular frontline. David Martin nearly doubled the lead late on but his shot was deflected wide and Derby claimed a fairly comfortable victory.
Rob Hulse and Robbie Savage were left out of an otherwise strong looking Derby line-up and The Rams were in front only seven minutes into the match on a glorious evening at Pride Park, Kris Commons was again the provider as his cross from the left picked out Chris Porter who angled his header beyond Asimir Begovic in the visitors goal to give his side the lead. Stoke came back strongly and a Rory Delap long throw picked out Robert Huth but the giant defenders glancing header was just off target.
The Rams were retaining possession well to deny their Premiership opponents the chance to build up a head of steam and they were playing some neat stuff at times. After a lightening opening the game didn`t produce any real moments of goalmouth action before the break although Huth had to stretch to take the ball off of the toe of Paul Green as he looked to have a clear run on goal from Kris Commons` pass. Dean Leacock and Russell Anderson were standing firm against a number of long balls from the visitors to their front pairing of Fuller and Sidibe but other than the early Huth header there were no moments of great concern for The Rams` backline.
Abdoulaye Faye had a header from a corner blocked early in the second half as Stoke came out strongly but Derby`s work rate meant they were getting no time on the ball to build and they were starting to show patience in possession when they regained the ball as they looked to work another opening. There was nearly a second goal when Roberts fed Pringle down the left and his delivery into the area was only inches away from the onrushing Cywka with the young Pole coming close again with an effort from distance that flew just the wrong side of the upright from his point of view.
Cywka was showing his quality and another jinking run on the edge of the area saw him curl a left foot effort just wide of the mark as The Rams continued to look for a second goal to clinch the victory. Nigel Clough made a number of changes in the final twenty minutes and one of the subs, David Martin, came close to doubling the score with a low drive from the edge of the area but this was deflected wide of the mark. The Rams saw out the closing stages fairly comfortably with Stephen Bywater not having a save to make as they claimed another victory in the build up to the new season.
Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Roberts, Leacock (Moxey 69), Anderson, Bailey, Green (Pringle 54), Doyle, Commons (Martin 74), Cywka (O'Brien 89), Porter (Varney 76)
Not Used: Deeney
Stoke City: Begovic (Sorensen 62), Huth (Higginbotham 66), Collins, Whelan, Shawcross (Wilkinson 66), Faye, Delap, Whitehead, Sidibe, Fuller (Tuncay 62), Etherington (Lawrence 49)
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