Rams Beat Leeds Again
Attendance: 25, 034
Will Hughes put in a virtuoso performance and inspired Derby County to a 3-1 victory against Leeds United at Pride Park, their eight win in a row against the Yorkshire side. Conor Sammon put The Rams in front in a first half they dominated from start to finish but they found themselves on level terms at the break when Paul Green was first to a Lucciano Becchio knockdown to score from close range. Derby survived a short spell of pressure from the visitors at the start of the second period before Jake Buxton poked home from six yards after being setup by Richard Keogh's cross-shot. Adam Legzdins kept out a David Norris shot before Tom Lees hit the post with a header but Ben Davies confirmed the win when he curled home from the edge of the area to clinch the three points.
Nigel Clough went with an unchanged side and they came out of the blocks quickly looking to get at the visitors. Paddy Kenny hit Tom Lees with a clearance as he came off his line with the ball bouncing behind for a corner with Theo Robinson's header from Michael Jacobs' set-piece deflecting over the top. Ross McCormack hit a freekick harmlessly over in a rare foray into the Derby half for Leeds and Derby took a deserved lead on fifteen minutes. Robinson took a quick freekick and Will Hughes ran towards goal before finding Conor Sammon with a neat pass and the striker beat his defender before sliding his shot in at the near post with Kenny beaten.
Robinson and Sammon exchanged passes on the edge of the area but Kenny was out quickly to smother his effort and Sammon was played in again by Hughes but he lost control of the ball under challenge from two defenders with the ball bobbling through to Kenny. Robinson tested the Leeds keeper from thirty yards but his effort didn't have enough power and Hughes made room for himself down the left and fired in a low cross that came off a defender but only found the side netting. Completely against the run of play Leeds leveled the scores on the stroke of halftime, Ryan Hall's cross was nodded down by Lucciano Becchio and Paul Green was first to react to prod home from close range.
Leeds had the first opportunity of the second period when Green headed down but McCormack's effort was straight at Adam Legzdins and Hall beat two defenders but his cross-shot was kept out by a combination of Legzdins and Jacobs as Neil Warnock's side looked lively. Paul Coutts' run ended with Sammon firing wide from twelve yards and Hughes beat three defenders before Kenny beat out his fierce shot at the expense of a corner as The Rams re-exerted their dominance
John Brayford had a goalbound effort cleared before it reached the target and Derby re-took the lead with twenty-five minutes to go when a corner fell to Richard Keogh and he fired an effort across goal and Jake Buxton turned it home from close range. Leeds tried to fight back straight away and David Norris' volley from the edge of the box was beaten out by Legzdins before Lees then had a header that struck the inside of the post before being hacked clear by Keogh on the goalline. El Hadji Diouf volleyed wide of the target but Derby broke to seal the victory when Coutts' long run ended with substitute Ben Davies taking over and curling a superb effort into the far corner from the edge of the area to finish the scoring.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton (O`Brien 79), O`Connor; Coutts, Hendrick, Hughes (Freeman 90), Jacobs; Robinson (Davies 82), Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Tyson, Doyle, Bennett.
Leeds United: Kenny; Peltier, Lees, Tate, Byram; Green, Tonge, Norris (White 80), Hall (Varney 68); Becchio, McCormack (Diouf 74).
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Pearce, Brown, Gray.