Home Run Continues
Attendance: 25, 189
Derby County held on in a five goal thriller to beat Scunthorpe United 3-2 and claim a sixth win in a row at Pride Park to cement fourth place in the table. An early Tomasz Cywka strike was cancelled out by a curling effort from Jonathan Forte before Kris Commons restored the lead from the spot in an exciting first half. The Rams looked to have tied up the points when Luke Moore turned and thundered home an unstoppable effort on the hour mark but two bookings in two minutes for Gareth Roberts, the second of which for giving away a penalty, saw them reduced to ten men and Michael O`Connor fired home from the spot. There was a nervy end to the game for Nigel Clough`s side but despite Scunthorpe throwing everything at them they held on to claim the points and continue their fine home form.
With a sickness bug sweeping the camp and Shaun Barker suspended Nigel Clough was forced to make three changes to the side with Gareth Roberts coming in for Dean Moxey at leftback, Alberto Bueno returning in midfield and Stephen Pearson coming in for James Bailey in the sitting midfield role. The changes meant John Brayford moved the centre of defence with Paul Green lining up at rightback. The Rams came out of the blocks quickly and Tomasz Cywka fired in a shot within the first 30 seconds although it was straight at Joe Murphy in the visitors` goal. The young Pole didn`t have long to wait to open the scoring though after he was picked out by a fine cross field pass from Bueno and he took a touch before firing an unstoppable shot across Murphy and into the far corner after being given all the time in the world inside the area.
Kris Commons was next to threaten on eight minutes when he was picked out by John Brayford but Murphy touched his effort from just outside the area around the post. Scunthorpe were looking to break forward quickly when they won the ball back and from one such break they won a corner which Rob Jones met but his downward header was cleared off the line by Commons who was stood on the post. The visitors were starting to apply some pressure and they dragged themselves level just before the half hour mark with another quick break. Jonathan Forte broke forward exchanging passes with Michael O`Connor before outpacing Gareth Roberts and curling a superb effort into the top corner beyond the despairing reach of Frank Fielding.
Derby looked to go back in front straight away and Cywka hit a superb volley from a high Bueno cross but his effort was beaten out by Murphy. The Spaniard was involved again though as The Rams retook the lead on thirty-seven minutes when he jinked his way into the area and went down under a clumsy challenge from O`Connor with the referee pointing to the spot. Up stepped Commons and he blasted the penalty high into the net giving Murphy no chance and The Rams saw out the final minutes of the half to take the advantage into the break.
Stephen Pearson had the perfect change to extend the lead further only two minutes into the second half when a clever ball from Bueno released him in the area but Murphy was out quickly to block his effort. Danny N`Guessan should have done better at the other end from a Trent McClenahan cross and Dean Leacock made a fine last ditch challenge to deny Freddie Sears when he looked set to score from close range after a neat run into the area. With both sides looking threatening going forward it was Derby who struck next after the Scunthorpe backline failed to clear the ball and Luke Moore took a touch before turning and firing a superb finish into the top corner of the net from a Cywka cross.
Derby were looking comfortable and keeping the ball away from their visitors but things all changed within the space of a couple of minutes with a quarter of an hour to go. Gareth Roberts picked up a booking for a foul on Sears on the halfway line and minutes later he lost out to Martin Woolford wide on the left and another clumsy challenge as the substitute ran into the area saw the referee again point to the spot and show a second yellow and a red to the Derby man. O`Connor fired the penalty high into the net giving Fielding no chance to setup a tense finish.
The visitors piled forward in search of an equaliser and Nigel Clough introduced some fresh legs as his side looked to hang on with Dean Moxey coming on for Kris Commons and Shefki Kuqi replacing Luke Moore in the closing stages. Garry Thompson and Josh Wright were both off target in the last five minutes when they perhaps could have done better and Fielding stood up strong to beat out an effort from Kevin McDonald at the death but it was not to be for Scunthorpe and despite five minutes of time added on they couldn`t find an equaliser as Derby held on for the win.
Derby County: Fielding, Green, Brayford, Leacock, Roberts, Savage, Pearson, Cywka, Commons (Moxey 76), Bueno (Pringle 63), Moore (Kuqi 87)
Subs: Bywater, Doyle, Anderson
Scunthorpe United: Murphy, Byrne, Raynes (McLenahan 45), Jones, McNulty, Wright, O'Connor, MacDonald, Forte (Thompson 84), Sears, N'Guessan (Woolford 55)
Subs: Warner, Godden, Palmer, Dagnall