Rams Win On The Road
Attendance: 12, 263
Steve Davies` second goal in two outings saw Derby County snatch a 1-0 victory at Vicarage Road against Watford to maintain their winning start the season in the league. After being under pressure for the majority of the first half Davies swivelled and fired across Scott Loach into the far corner six minutes into the second period to give his side the lead. Frank Fielding was on form to maintain the scoreline reacting well to keep out efforts from Marvin Sordell and John Eustace as they stood firm at the back to claim all three points and win the opening two games of a season for the first time in nearly forty years.
Nigel Clough recalled Craig Bryson, James Bailey and Jamie Ward to the starting line-up and Mark O`Brien was the only change to the side that started the opening day victory over Birmingham City. Watford started the better of the two sides and caused The Rams problems in the air in opening stages with Martin Taylor and Craig Forsyth both heading wide from crosses from the right by Mark Yeates. Chris Iwelumo then headed over the bar from a corner and Frank Fielding was called into action to make straight forward saves from John Eustace and Marvin Sordell.
The ball was not sticking up front for Derby meaning Jason Shackell and O`Brien were having to stand firm at the back with Ward`s pace at the other end the only real threat on the break but Lloyd Doyley reacted well to cut out a couple of dangerous looking balls towards the Northern Ireland international. Watford had the best chance of the half in stoppage time when a goalmouth scramble saw Fielding and John Brayford combine to clear the ball off the line and away to safety as Derby reached halftime on level terms.
Jeff Hendrick came on at the break in place of James Bailey who had picked up a knock to his ankle in the opening period and after being under pressure in the opening minutes The Rams took the lead somewhat against the run of play six minutes into the second half. A Brayford throw down the right eventually reached Steve Davies and he took a touch before turning and firing an unstoppable effort into the far corner of the net beyond Scott Loach`s dive. It was his last action of the match however as he was replaced by Theo Robinson not long afterwards.
Shackell got in the way of a firm strike from Forsyth to deflect it over the bar and Fielding reacted well to push a drive from Sordell around the post with twenty-five minutes to go. Derby broke away with seventy minutes on the clock and Robinson`s pace created room but he didn`t get hold of his shot from just outside of the area and it was a routine save for Loach. Fielding was called into action again at the other end to block a John Eustace header and Gavin Massey headed weakly at the Derby keeper after another inviting cross from Yeates. Despite five minutes of added time at the end of the match The Rams held on comfortably to claim their second win out of two in The Championship.
Watford: Loach, Dickinson, Eustace, Taylor, Mariappa, Yeates, Iwelumo (Deeney 71) Forsyth (Massey 87), Doyley, Jenkins, Sordell.
Subs: Gilmartin, Buaben, Mirfin.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Shackell, O'Brien, Kilbane, Bailey (Hendrick 46), Bryson, Croft, B Davies, Ward (Roberts 68), S Davies (Robinson 59).
Subs: Legzdins, Maguire.