Derby Ease To First Win
Attendance: 20, 608
Derby County strolled to their first win of the season with a comprehensive 5-1 victory against Watford at Pride Park. Richard Keogh and Jeff Hendrick both scored headers to put The Rams ahead before Conor Sammon showed his class when he held off Carl Dickinson and then curled an effort beyond Manuel Amunia for his first goal in a Derby shirt. Will Hughes bundled home from close range at the start of the second period for his first senior and Jamie Ward tapped into an empty net for the fifth as Derby threatened to embarrass their hapless opponents. Derby took their foot off the gas in the closing stages allowing Matej Vydra to convert from close range but the damage had already been done and Nigel Clough`s side claimed the three points.
Both sides attempted to keep hold of possession in the opening stages of the match without looking threatening going forward and Jamie Ward was released down the left on ten minutes but his low ball towards Conor Sammon was too far in front of the former Wigan striker. Sammon was fouled six minutes later with Garth Roberts finding Craig Bryson and he whipped a ball towards the back post that Richard Keogh headed beyond Manuel Amunia to give his side the lead. Watford`s first shot of the came shortly after the half hour when Almen Abdi showed some neat footwork on the edge of the area but his shot drifted harmlessly wide of the goal.
Another set piece saw The Rams take a two goal lead when Paul Coutts` delivery into the area was met by Jeff Hendrick who headed home to double their lead. Sammon was next to threaten but his close range effort was blocked and he swivelled on the rebound but fired narrowly wide of the mark. The big striker was not to be denied though as two minutes before the break he got on the end of Jamie Ward`s ball and outmuscled Carl Dickinson before clipping a confident finish beyond Almunia into the top corner of the net. It was very nearly four on the stroke of halftime when Keogh was first to another deadball delivery from Coutts but his header clipped the bar and went over with no time left to re-start the game before the whistle went.
Derby started the second-half where they left off in the first and just seven minutes in Ward was denied when Alumina kept out his low freekick from just outside the area but Will Hughes was on hand to bundle home the rebound from close range for his first senior goal. It was five ten minutes later when Coutts` jinking run took him into the area and he outmuscled Dickinson to pull the ball back across the six-yard box for Ward to roll the ball into the empty net.
With the job done The Rams eased off a little bit and Watford pulled a goal back with their first effort on target of the second period when the ball was cut back to Matej Vydra who converted from close range. Derby looked tired in the closing stages but they managed to raise their game just enough to hold the visitors at bay and they saw out the closing stages to claim their first win of the season.
Derby County: Fielding; Brayford, Keogh, O'Connor, Roberts (Buxton 66); Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes (Jacobs 83); Ward, Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Tyson, Gjokaj, Robinson, Doyle.
Watford: Almunia; Doyley, Nosworthy, Dickinson, Pudil (Cassetti 64); Yeates (Battocchio 84), Hogg, Murray (Anya 64), Abdi; Vydra, Iwelumo.
Subs Not Used: Bond, Forsyth, Beleck, Hoban.