Rams Make Hard Work Of Win
Attendance: 20, 063
Derby County again showed their brittle side as they made hard work of beating Charlton Athletic 3-2 at Pride Park after completely dominating the first hour of the game. A volley from the edge of the area from Jamie Ward was the only goal The Rams had to show after a half of one way traffic and whilst The Addicks came out a little better after the break they were three goals down just after the hour mark after a close range effort from Craig Bryson and a penalty from Ward for his second of the match. A superb effort from range by Danny Green gave the visitors an unexpected foothold in the match and nerves were jangling when the same player setup Yann Kermorgant to score from eight yards out to leave the result in doubt. Derby managed to regroup and hold off the Charlton surge to secure the win and put themselves back on track after the weekend result.
Paul Coutts returned to the side after recovering from illness as Nigel Clough`s side looked to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Huddersfield on Saturday. Derby looked to get on the front foot early on but it was Charlton who had the first effort on goal when Michael Morrison headed wide from a Johnnie Jackson corner. At the other end Paul Coutts had an effort blocked and Craig Bryson`s follow-up was straight at Ben Hamer in the visitor`s goal. As the pressure continued Richard Keogh sent a diagonal ball forwards and when the ball was only headed as far as the edge of the area Jamie Ward crashed home a volley beyond the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net to give his side the lead.
Bryson played a neat ball to Conor Sammon who ran at goal but he curled his effort wide of the mark and Ward could only find the side netting after a clever run saw him cut in from the left. Bradley Wright-Phillips dragged a tame effort well wide of the mark in a rare attack for his side and Leon Cort did well to clear from just in front of goal after neat work from Jeff Hendrick and John Brayford saw the rightback play a low ball across the goal from inside the area. Coutts dragged another effort wide of the mark after a good run from Sammon and it was a surprise that The Rams were only one goal to the good at the break after dominating proceedings in the opening forty-five minutes.
Charlton threatened first again at the start of the second period when Jackson was first to a Dale Stephen corner but Gareth Roberts was well placed to clear the ball off the line and Bryson fired inches wide of goal after a quick counterattack moments later. Derby were presented with a great opportunity for a second goal after a weak backpass only found Sammon in the area, his initial effort was well saved by Hamer but Will Hughes kept his composure to square the ball from the rebound and Bryson tapped home from close range to double the lead.
Yann Kermorgant headed over from point blank range after a pinpoint cross from Danny Green but Derby looked to have secured the three points at the other end when Ward was brought down as he ran into the area and he picked himself up to fire the spotkick under Hamer and into the net despite the keeper getting something on it. Charlton looked to be out the match but gave themselves a lifeline out of the blue when Green let fly with a superb effort from thirty yards that left Frank Fielding grasping at thin air as it flew into the net beyond his dive.
Suddenly Derby were looking edgy and they found themselves only one goal in front two minutes later as they were caught flat footed at the back allowing Green to get onto the ball inside the area and pull it back to Kermorgant who slotted home from close range. Salim Kerkar could only find the roof of the net with a freekick from wide on the right but Derby slowly found their feet again and managed to hold off a late surge from the visitors to claim their second home win on the bounce.
Derby County: Fielding; Brayford, Keogh, O`Connor (Buxton 82), Roberts; Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes (Robinson 89); Ward, Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Gjokaj, Jacobs, Freeman, Doyle.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Cort, Wilson; Green, Stephens, Hollands (Kerkar 60), Jackson; Wright-Phillips (Fuller 60), Kermorgant.
Subs Not Used: Button, Evina, Dervite, Pritchard, Smith.