Rams Beat Villa
Goals from Steve and Ben Davies gave Derby County a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa a Pride Park in their final warm-up game before the new season gets underway against Birmingham City on Saturday. An uneventful first half saw The Rams having the better of the sparse chances but a raft of substitutes at halftime livened them up and Steve Davies opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Ben Davies crashed home from the edge of the area with just over ten minutes to go after good work from Theo Robinson to round out the scoring after a useful run-out against their Premiership opponents.
Kevin Kilbane went straight into the side at left back after joining from Hull City yesterday and there were also first starts of pre-season for James Bailey and Jeff Hendrick. Derby started brightly with Bailey pulling the strings in midfield and his neat ball found Nathan Tyson whose pace was too much for the Villa backline but Brad Guzan was out quickly to deny the striker and Chris Maguire dragged his effort wide from the rebound. Whilst they played some neat football The Rams were not creating chances although Kilbane forced Guzan into another save and Tyson went off with a groin injury he had picked up to be replaced by Theo Robinson. Darren Bent escaped the offside trap at the other end but hesitated and the Derby defence got back to clear in the last chance of the half.
Nigel Clough introduced Lee Croft, Russell Anderson, Steve Davies, Craig Bryson and Conor Doyle at half time and they added bit of spark to The Rams who came out on the front foot and took the game to their opponents. A low driven ball from the right found Tomasz Cywka but he blazed over the top from ten yards. As the pressure continued Ben Davies had a shot from outside of the area blocked by a Villa hand with the referee pointing to the spot and Steve Davies sent Guzan the wrong way to open the scoring. Mark Albrighton hit a quickfire shot from the edge of the area but Frank Fielding was equal to it to make a sharp save down to his left. The Rams tied the game up with just over ten minutes to go when Theo Robinson`s mazy run ended with him squaring the ball to Ben Davies and he crashed a shot into the top right-hand corner of the net from the edge of the area to double the score.
Derby County: Fielding (Legzdins 65), Brayford (Croft 46), O'Brien, Shackell (Anderson 46), Kilbane (S Davies 46), Bailey (Bryson 46), Hendrick (Doyle 46 - Ball 75), B Davies, Cywka (Jones 77), Maguire, Tyson (Robinson 36).