Derby Pay For Missed Chances
Attendance: 21, 347
Derby County paid dearly for their profligacy in front of goal as they somehow contrived to lose 2-1 to Burnley at Pride Park for their first home defeat of the season. Jamie Ward swept home his third goal of the week and Conor Sammon twice came close as The Rams dominated the early proceedings but a fluffed clearance saw Burnley equalise when Charlie Austin thumped an effort into the corner of Frank Fielding`s net. Derby again made most of the running in the second period with Sammon inches away from a Ward cross and Craig Bryson being denied from close range before Sammon rolled another shot into the arms of former Ram Lee Grant. Just as it looked like they would have to settle for a point Nigel Clough`s side somehow found themselves behind with Austin again their tormentor as he headed home at the far post with two minutes remaining to snatch the victory.
Jake Buxton came back into the side in place of James O`Connor as Nigel Clough made one change to his starting line-up. Burnley had the first opportunity of the match in the fourth minute when Martin Paterson made room down the left and cut inside but his effort was headed clear Gareth Roberts and Junior Stanislas then had an effort from twenty yards blocked by Richard Keogh who threw himself in front of the shot. The Rams upped the tempo and got themselves on the front foot and Will Hughes forced a sharp save from Lee Grant with a stinging volley before Craig Bryson headed straight at the former Derby keeper from a Paul Coutts cross.
With twenty minutes on the clock The Rams took the lead when a corner was only half cleared and Coutts picked out Jeff Hendrick inside the area, the Irishman`s low cross was then swept home by Jamie Ward for his third goal in a week. Conor Sammon was then twice involved, firstly having his effort tipped into the side netting after nipping in front of a Burnley defender and then seeing his effort fly inches wide after some intricate build-up play presented him with the chance ten yards from goal with Grant doing just enough to put him off as he rushed off his line.
Derby were still in the ascendancy but they found themselves pegged back when Ward looked to clear a freekick on the edge of his own area, he was challenged when doing so and the ball looped up into the air and fell kindly for Charlie Austin who took a touch before rifling a shot across Frank Fielding and into the net. It could have been worse not long afterwards when Ben Mee was first to another ball into the area but his header clipped the top of the bar and went over as the sides went in level at the break.
Hughes came close not long into the second period when his shot deflected narrowly wide of the near post with Grant flat footed and John Brayford`s volley looped over the top as Derby looked to get at their visitors early on. Ward curled an effort wide of the far post after more good attacking play and same player was involved again as he took a high ball on his chest and escaped down the left but his low cross was just too far in front of Sammon.
Ward was having a lively afternoon up front and he made progress down the right as he got in behind the Burnley defence and fired in a cross but again there was just too much on it as Hendrick flung himself at the ball at the far post but his glancing header was wide of the mark. Sammon picked the ball up half way inside the Burnley half and ran at the defence before picking out Bryson with a superb pass and the Scottish midfielder took a touch before shooting from eight yards but his effort was straight at Grant who denied him his second goal in two games.
Clough introduced Michael Jacobs and Theo Robinson as he looked to give his side the impetus to claim the win and Robinson cut the ball back well after beating Jason Shackell in the air but the striker`s touch escaped him and Grant took the ball off his toes as he was about to shoot. Just as Burnley looked to have clung on to claim an unlikely point they conjured up a winner with two minutes remaining, a cross from the left picked out Austin at the far post and he headed down and into the net for his second of the afternoon. The Rams threw everything at it in the remaining minutes with Jake Buxton moving up front but his looping header from a corner was cleared from under the bar in the only real opportunity before the referee blew his whistle and Burnley claimed their first away win of the season.
Derby County: Fielding; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes (Jacobs 77); Ward, Sammon (Robinson 80).
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, O`Connor, Tyson, Doyle, Gjokaj.
Burnley: Grant; Trippier, Edgar, Shackell, Mee; Marney, Wallace, McCann, Stanislas (Stewart 45); Austin, Paterson (Vokes 61).
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Stock, Bartley, Mills, Long.