Bueno Inspires Rams
Attendance: 26, 117
First half goals from Dean Moxey and Alberto Bueno set Derby on their way to a comfortable three points against Preston North End as they ran out 3-0 winners at Pride Park. Moxey`s low cross deceived Andy Lonergan in the Preston goal as he couldn`t keep the ball out of the net on his near post to open the scoring. He was beaten again by a close range Bueno header as The Rams doubled their before the break as they played some breath taking football prompted by the young Spanish loanee from the middle of the park as he dominated the match. The visitor`s tried to force their way back into the match early in the second half but chances were hard to come by and debutant Frank Fielding made two sharp saves when called upon. Robbie Savage stroked home a penalty in the last minute of the match to round out the victory and push his side into the top half of the table.
Nigel Clough made three changes to the starting line-up with Frank Fielding making his debut in place of the injured Stephen Bywater and Dean Leacock and Shefki Kuqi returning after injury and being ineligible to play respectively. The Rams came out of the block quickly with Alberto Bueno prompting things in midfield and Kris Commons came close with a 30-yard effort that flew just over the top. Bueno continued to show his class on the ball and his pass to Dean Moxey wide on the left let to the opening goal on twenty-one minutes. Derby`s leftback fired in a low cross that caught Andy Lonergan off his guard and he couldn`t keep the ball out of the net at his near post.
Derby continued to dominate possession and Kris Commons was only denied by a last ditch Sean St Ledger challenge as they looked to stretch their lead. It wasn`t long before the second though after a deep cross from John Brayford found Shefki Kuqi and his header back across goal was met by Alberto Bueno who guided the ball into the net from close range. Jon Parkin had Preston`s first effort of the half just before the break but his tame effort was straight at Frank Fielding who was called into action for virtually the first time in the match.
The visitors started the second half on the front foot as they looked to get back into the match and put some dangerous looking balls into the area but Shaun Barker and Dean Leacock dealt with everything that came their way despite the physical threat of Parkin. As The Rams re-asserted themselves on the match Commons came close with a free kick but Lonergan reacted well to palm the ball out and Bueno couldn`t quite reach the rebound. Keith Treacy went close at the other end but his swerving effort was well kept out by Fielding and the young keeper stood tall to deny St Ledger from the resulting corner as the loose ball fell to him but the on loan Blackburn man saved from close range.
Commons should have sealed the win with fifteen minutes to go when he ran clear on goal but with all the time in the world he somehow fired wide of the post with only Lonergan to beat. Luke Moore, Ben Pringle and Russell Anderson were all introduced in the last twenty minutes in place of Bueno, Commons and Kuqi respectively and it was two of the subs who combined to seal the win in the last minute of the ninety. Luke Moore turned and ran at the visitor`s defence and he neatly played in Russell Anderson who was brought down inside the area just as he was set to shoot with the referee awarding the spot kick and showing a red card to Treacy for the challenge. Up stepped Robbie Savage to send Lonergan the wrong way and score on his six hundredth club appearance to extend The Rams unbeaten run to five games and push them into the top half of the table.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Leacock, Barker, Moxey, Savage, Bailey, Commons (Pringle 81), Bueno (Moore 72), Cywka, Kuqi (Anderson 89).
Subs: Atkins, Doyle, Martin, Roberts.
Preston North End: Lonergan, Morgan, St Ledger, Davidson, Coutts, Treacy, Barton (Gray 79), Hume, King (Parry 79), Jones, Parkin (Hayes 85).
Subs: Mayor, Arestidou, McLaughlin, Wright.