Austin Double Beats Rams
Attendance: 23, 913
Defensive mistakes cost Derby County dearly as Charlie Austin`s double gave Burnley a 2-1 victory at Pride Park as The Rams lost their 100% start to the season. A quiet first half saw Austin show his threat when his header glanced the post and despite the fresh impetus provided by Theo Robinson and Lee Croft`s introduction after the break The Rams fell a goal behind in the early stages. Mark O`Brien was robbed of the ball out wide and Keith Treacy cut back for Austin to poke home from close range. Derby threw everything at the visitors who twice cleared off the line, the first of which saw Jeff Hendrick nearly get his first goal in a Derby shirt. Robinson tapped home from a low Craig Bryson cross to level the scores with twenty minutes to go but Frank Fielding made a rare mistake only three minutes later when he couldn`t hold a swerving effort and Austin was first to react to slot home the winner. Seven minutes of injury time were awarded after some pretty obvious time wasting tactics from Burnley but the stoppages had broken The Rams` momentum enough for the visitors to see out the closing stages to claim the points.
Nigel Clough named an unchanged side with Jamie Ward and Jason Shackell recovering from injuries to be named in the starting line-up but it was a quiet start to the match with neither side getting going in the early stages. Burnley were the first to threaten after a quarter of an hour when Ross Wallace`s cross from the right was met by Charlie Austin and his header glanced the outside of the post with Frank Fielding beaten. Craig Bryson had a low effort easily gathered by Brain Jensen in the visitor`s goal but it was Wallace down the right who was causing problems for The Rams backline. A neatly worked corner from the left saw Wallace dummy the ball and David Edgar fired over the top from the edge of the area. In the final moment of note in a quiet first half John Brayford scuffed a clearance straight to Austin but his powerful effort was beaten out by Fielding and the ball was cleared to safety.
Lee Croft and Theo Robinson were introduced at the break in place of Steve Davies and Jamie Ward and Robinson was nearly played in from a well judged floated ball from James Bailey but this touch escaped him and Jensen was out quickly to smother his effort. It was a bright start from Derby but they found themselves a goal behind four minutes into the half when Mark O`Brien should have put the ball into touch wide on the left but he was caught out by Keith Treacy and he ran into the area and cut the ball back for Austin who took a touch and poked home from six yards.
Derby reacted well to falling behind and Robinson combined with Croft with the wingers` pass eventually reaching Jeff Hendrick who took a touch and his shot beat Jensen but was cleared off the line by a defender who got back well to block the effort. Minutes later a low corner from Ben Davies was flicked goalwards but Dean Marney was in place to clear off the line again the back post. Burnley hit back at the other end when a neat run from Treacy ended with the winger curling a low effort against the foot of the post. Hendrick headed straight at Jensen as Derby went back on the attack and Ben Davies fired wide from the edge of the box after neatly stepping inside a defender.
The pressure eventually told in the seventy-first minute when Brayford`s quick throw from the right found Bryson in the area and he fired in a low cross that Robinson couldn`t miss from as he touched home from two yards to level the scores. The Rams weren`t level for long though as the visitor`s regained the lead three minutes later when Fielding couldn`t hold a swerving effort from Wallace and Austin was first to the rebound to slide it under the keeper. Jensen was called into action to tip over an effort from Bryson as Derby looked to get back into the match again and Austin blazed over from close range with a great chance to complete his hat-trick as Burnley looked to capitalise on the break.
Seven minutes of added time were signalled at the end and it could have been more after a slew of time wasting tactics from Burnley as Derby threw everything forward in an attempt to gain a point from the match. Fielding tipped a fierce effort from Chris McCann over the top as they were caught bombing forward and the same player was then played clean through on goal but Fielding came out well to block his shot. Kevin Kilbane`s low shot was held by Jensen in the only worthwhile effort on goal in the added time with The Rams not quite getting the run of the ball on a number of occasions as they fell to their first defeat of the season.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, O'Brien, Shackell, Kilbane, Bailey, Hendrick, Bryson, Ward (Croft 46), B Davies, S Davies (Robinson 46).
Subs: Legzdins, Maguire, Roberts.
Burnley: Jensen, Trippier, Mee, Easton, Marney, McCann, Treacy (MacDonald 90), Wallace (Elliott 82), Edgar, Rodriguez, Austin (Amougou 85).
Subs: Grant, Hines.