Rampant Rams Down Blackpool
Attendance: 22, 272
Derby County dominated from first to last whistle and they swept aside managerless Blackpool 4-1 at Pride Park. Theo Robinson swept home after twelve minutes when a Paul Coutts cross picked him out and the former Preston midfielder got his second assist of the afternoon just after the half-hour mark when another low ball into the area was crashed home by John Brayford. In a rare moment of attacking threat Blackpool were awarded a penalty three minutes into the second period when Richard Keogh was adjudged to have handled a shot and Thomas Ince just got enough on the spotkick to pull one back despite Adam Legzdins getting a hand to the ball. The Rams soon got back on the front foot and Robinson restored the two goal cushion five minutes after he was first to a loose ball and he beat two men before calmly slotting home. Conor Sammon got on the scoresheet when he tapped home from close range ten minutes after that after another pass from Coutts and there could have been more as Derby strolled to a convincing win.
Craig Bryson replaced Michael Jacobs after returning from a tight hamstring with the former Northampton youngster dropping to the bench and Derby started brightly with Will Hughes finding Robinson inside the area and his low shot was pushed out by Michael Gilks with Coutts unable to get to the ball. With twelve minutes on the clock The Rams took the lead, after some patient play down the right Coutts had time on the edge of the area and his low cross picked out Robinson who swept home his fifth goal of the season.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher had an effort deflected just wide as Blackpool briefly threatened the home defence but the traffic was all one way and Craig Bryson had a low shot well held by Gilks. Hughes made room down the left but his ball into the area was just too far ahead of Robinson and John Brayford crashed home a great finish from just inside the area after the visitors couldn't clear the ball and Coutts picked him out from the right hand side of the penalty area. Hughes was involved in a lot of the play for Derby and he had a couple of chances of his own before the break, firstly having a shot deflected just wide of the far post before taking a touch a volleying over from the edge of the box as his side continued to dominate.
Blackpool were handed a lifeline at the start of the second half when Richard Keogh blocked a Matthew Phillips shot only for the ball to hit his leg and bounce onto his arm before going behind with the referee awarding a penalty. Thomas Ince hit the spotkick low to Adam Legzdins' left and the ball crept into the corner despite The Rams' keeper getting a hand to it. The visitors had their tails up but they found themselves two goals behind again five minutes later when Robinson intercepted a loose pass before his pace took him beyond two defenders and he coolly slotted between the legs of Gilks as he came out to meet him for his second goal of the afternoon.
Brayford won the ball back in the middle of the park and tried an ambitious chip which was not far wide but Gilks had it covered and the game was put to bed with twentyfive minutes to go when Brayford and Coutts combined down the right and the former Preston midfielder squared for Conor Sammon to tap home from two yards out. The Rams didn't take their foot off the gas and Sammon was only denied another goal by a superb last ditch tackle by Ian Evatt and substitute Michael Jacobs looked like scoring his first senior goal only to be denied by another tackle with the ball eventually finding the grateful arms of Gilks.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, O'Connor, Keogh, Roberts; Coutts, Hendrick (Freeman 81), Bryson, Hughes (Jacobs 85); Robinson (Tyson 67), Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Deeney, O'Brien, Gjokaj, Davies.
Blackpool: Gilks; Broadfoot, Evatt, Baptiste, Crainey; Angel (Dicko 66), Sylvestre, Grandin (Basham 74), Phillips, Ince; Taylor-Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Eardley, Cathcart, Gomes, Delfouneso.