Clarets Down Rams
Attendance: 25, 187
Jamie Ward had an eventful afternoon at Pride Park putting his side ahead for a second time in the first half before his foul on Tyrone Mears proved the turning point in the second as he gave away the penalty that lead to Burnley`s equaliser and was also dismissed for being the last man. A strong start for The Rams saw Theo Robinson convert from close range only for them to be pegged back when Chris Eagles curled home from twelve yards to level the scores. Ward then took centre stage when his deflected effort restored the lead for Derby but he then clipped Mears` heels as he ran into the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Brad Jones saved Eagles` penalty but he was first to the rebound to level the scores for a second time and his cross minutes later was headed home by Wade Elliott to turn the match on its head. The returning Chris McCann struck from outside of the area to round off the scoring and leave his side on the edge of the playoff race with Derby almost safe being eight points clear of the dropzone with three games to go.
Nigel Clough made one change to the side who held leaders Queens Park Rangers on Monday night with Russell Anderson coming in for his first start since the opening game of the season at left back in place of Gareth Roberts who was ill and there were places on the bench for youngsters Jeff Hendrick and Callum Ball. The Rams were at their visitors from the off on a glorious afternoon at Pride Park and Steve Davies tried his luck with a strike from distance in the first two minutes but Brian Jensen was equal to it. The fast start continued and Derby took the lead on six minutes when Davies played a neat ball down the left to Stephen Pearson and his low cross picked out Theo Robinson who couldn`t miss from six yards as he flicked the ball into the far corner.
Derby continued on the front foot but found themselves pegged back when Burnley levelled the scores with virtually their first meaningful attack of the match, Chris Eagles beat John Brayford in the air and nodded down to Chris Iwelumo who held the ball well and returned it to the winger who curled a neat effort into the top corner beyond the helpless Brad Jones. The Rams came back well and James Bailey and Theo Robinson both had efforts from the edge of the area which were not far off target and Jones reacted well to turn a Chris McCann effort away when he latched onto Iwelumo`s flick and fired a firm effort towards the bottom corner. At the other end Derby retook the lead when a half clearance from a corner dropped to Jamie Ward in the area and his shot took a deflection off of McCann and beat the despairing Jensen. It was no more than they deserved for their endeavour and they retained possession well with some football reminiscent of the early days of the season to reach the break a goal ahead.
Pearson saw his run into the area matched with a pointblank save from Jensen in the early minutes of the second period and Jack Cork had a shot deflected just wide of the post as Burnley looked to come from behind again. Davies then headed a Jay Rodriguez effort over the bar from the resulting corner and there were shouts for a penalty when Eagles went down theatrically under a challenge from Robbie Savage but the referee was not impressed. The visitor`s pressure eventually told when Tyrone Mears` run into the area was ended when Ward clipped his heels and the referee pointed to the spot and showed the on loan Sheffield United man a red card for a professional foul. Brad Jones saved the resulting spotkick well down to his right but Eagles, the initial taker, was first to the rebound to slam home from close range to level the scores.
Burnley sensed the game was there for the taking and they took the lead minutes later when Eagles crossed from the right and Wade Elliott beat his man in the air to head into the far corner and beyond Jones. The man disadvantage and hot conditions meant The Rams forays forward were becoming less regular although Davies had a free kick from just outside the area well held by Jensen in one such attack. The visitors tied up the victory with fifteen minutes to go when McCann ran at a retreating Derby backline and his low effort from twenty yards beat Jones off the post to put his side further ahead. Youngsters Ball and Hendrick both came off the bench late on and added a little bit of running to The Rams side but they couldn`t make any headway into the scoreline and were well beaten by the final whistle.
Derby County: Jones, Brayford, Ayala, Barker, Anderson (Addison 82), Savage (Henrick 80), Bailey, Pearson, Ward, S Davies (Ball 77), Robinson.
Subs: Atkins, Doyle, B Davies, Bueno.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Fox, Duff, Bikey, Elliott, McCann (Alexander 78), Cork, Eagles (Wallace 82), Rodriguez, Iwelumo (Thompson 71)
Subs: Grant, Carlisle, Delfouneso, Edgar.