Rams Back On Track
Derby County moved up to seventh in the table after running out comfortable 4-1 victors against Watford at Pride Park, goals from John Brayford, Shefki Kuqi and a double from Tomasz Cywka helped secure the win as they overcame the disappointment of their unbeaten run ending last weekend. Brayford scored his first goal for The Rams on the quarter of an hour mark and a deflected Cywka effort doubled the lead in a first half dominated by Nigel Clough`s side. Watford made a couple of changes at the break and Matthew Whichelow, one of those introduced, pulled one back with a neat finish ten minutes into the second period but Kuqi slammed home from ten yards and Cywka curled home a late fourth to wrap up the win and give his side a fourth home victory in a row.
Tomasz Cywka came in for Shefki Kuqi in the only change to the side who tasted defeat at Millwall last weekend and Watford included a number of familiar faces with former loanees Danny Graham and John Eustace both lining up again at Pride Park. The Rams came out of the blocks quickly to try and put that defeat behind them and Tomasz Cywka and Paul Green combined well with the Irish international forcing Scott Loach into a fine one-handed save with a shot from a tight angle. Green was next to threaten when he got his head to a Dean Moxey centre but he could not direct his effort on target.
Derby took a deservedly lead on fourteen minutes, Green took a quick throw in after a Watford slip and Cywka helped it on into the path of John Brayford who nodded the ball the ball down and showed a clean pair of heels to the visitors defence before firing across Loach and into the far corner. The chances were all coming at one end and Kris Commons came close with a powerful half volley before his teasing cross just avoided Green as The Rams looked to increase their lead. Watford came back into the match but Shaun Barker won two important defensive headers to avert any danger.
Alberto Bueno was replaced by Shefki Kuqi on thirty-six minutes after struggling with an ankle knock and Derby extended their lead two minutes later. James Bailey found Green and he cut the ball back to Cywka whose effort from fifteen yards took a deflection to wrong-foot Loach and hit the back of the net. Marvin Sordell had the visitor`s first effort of the match on forty minutes when he got in behind Dean Moxey but his lob was straight into the hands of Frank Fielding. Dean Leacock was booked just before the break after bringing down Danny Graham and John Eustace fired the free kick just wide as Derby went in two goals up.
Watford made two changes at the break bringing on Troy Deeney and Matthew Whichelow and the two strikers nearly made an immediate impact when Deeney drilled a low shot wide of the goal after John Eustace headed a free kick across goal. The visitors were dominating the opening of the second period and pulled a goal back on fifty-five minutes when Whichelow ran onto a defence splitting pass and lifted a neat finish over the onrushing Fielding and into the net.
The goal spurred Derby back into life and Green and Barker both had headers pushed away by Loach as they re-established their dominance and they increased the lead ten minutes later when Green chipped a neat ball into the area that picked out Kuqi who chested the ball down and hammered it past Loach from ten yards to leave the keeper with no chance. Derby were keeping possession of the ball well and were not allowing Watford back into the game this time and Cywka tied up the points with just under ten minutes to go after Robbie Savage picked him out and he cut in from the right and curled home a fine effort from twelve yards to score his second and Derby`s fourth. Deeney came close to grabbing a late consolation when his effort deflected off Dean Leacock but the ball bounced off the crossbar and away. Gareth Roberts came on in place of Cywka with just over five minutes to go as The Rams looked to see out the remaining minutes and they comfortably defended for the closing stages to claim their fourth home victory on the bounce.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Leacock, Barker, Moxey, Savage, Bailey, Green (Pringle 67), Commons, Bueno (Kuqi 36), Cywka (Roberts 83).
Subs: Atkins, Doyle, Martin, O'Brien.
Watford: Loach, A Taylor, Eustace, M Taylor, Mariappa, Graham (Deeney 46), Doyley, McGinn, Bryan, Mutch, Sordell (Whichelow 46).
Subs: Gilmartin, Bennett, Walker, Mingoia, Buckey,