Martin On Target
Attendance: 23, 123
Chris Martin scored the first goal of his loan spell to give Derby County a 2-1 victory against Leicester City in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Pride Park. Richard Keogh headed The Rams in front from a Jamie Ward freekick before Kasper Schmeichel denied the on loan Norwich City striker after Ward set him up. Craig Forsyth`s cross to the far post was well despatched by Martin to double lead but substitute Jeffrey Schlupp fired home from the edge of the area just after the hour mark to reduce The Rams` lead. Despite pumping ball after ball into the Derby area the visitors couldn`t find the equaliser with Keogh and Jake Buxton standing firm against the aerial bombardment to end their recent poor run of form.
Nigel Clough made four changes to side who tasted defeat at St Andrews last week with returns for Keiron Freeman, Jamie Ward, Craig Bryson and also for Frank Fielding in goal. Neither side created any chances in an opening where both sides demonstrated the effect their recent poor run of results had had on them. However, The Rams took the lead with their first effort on target when Jamie Ward`s whipped freekick was met by Richard Keogh and the defender`s header flew past Kasper Schmeichel with sixteen minutes on the clock.
Fielding reacted well to keep out a low drive from David Nugent and Lloyd Dyer was off target when he hit a volley into the turf as the visitors looked for a way back into the match. Ward couldn`t get enough on a cross from Paul Coutts to trouble Schmeichel but the keeper did well to keep out a Chris Martin effort with five minutes to go until the break. The man on loan from Norwich had the last laugh though when he was picked out by an inviting cross from Craig Forsyth and he picked his spot with a header to double Derby`s lead.
Leicester came out strongly at the start of the second period and Chris Wood came close with a header that was just the wrong side of the near post. Jeffrey Schlupp had been introduced as a halftime substitute and his pace down the left was a threat even before he pulled a goal back just after the hour mark. The Rams failed to cut out a cross from the left and Nugent took a touch before laying the ball back to the youngster who fired an effort beyond Fielding from just inside the area.
The scores were nearly all square after some neat build-up play ended with Nugent firing straight at the Derby stopper before Ben Davies intercepted a weak throw out from Schmeichel but his stinging effort was just high. Martin`s deflected effort didn`t have quite enough on it to beat Schmeichel but Leicester were throwing everything at The Rams with a number of long balls into the Derby area. Ben Marshall fired harmlessly over from a freekick from a dangerous position and Harry Kane and Paul Konchesky both had efforts way off target in the closing stages and despite six minutes of added time Derby held firm at the back to pick up a vital victory.
Derby County: Fielding; Freeman (Gjokaj 81), Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Ward (Davies 62); Sammon, Martin.
Subs not used: Legzdins, Hoganson, Jacobs, Bennett, Doyle.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; St Ledger, Morgan, Keane, Konchesky; Wellens (Schlupp 46), Drinkwater, King; Nugent, Wood (Kane 69), Dyer (Marshall 56).
Subs not used: Whitbread, Vardy, Logan, Waghorn.