Date:Monday December 2 2013
Attendance: 15, 097
A remarkable opening thirty minutes was enough for Derby County as they scored all of their goals in a 3-1 victory over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium. The Latics had played on Thursday night in the Europa League and looked lethargic as they blitzed by a strong opening from The Rams. Craig Bryson curled home a freekick inside two minutes before Simon Dawkins took advantage of a misplaced pass to calmly slot home the second with a quarter of an hour played and Chris Martin was brought down inside the area before picking himself up and firing home from the spot with just over fifteen minutes to go until the break. Wigan were a changed side after the break and an early goal from Nick Powell gave them a lift before Lee Grant pulled off saves from Powell and Marc Antoine Fortune to maintain his sides lead and claim the points.
Johnny Russell came into the side in place of Jamie Ward whilst there was a place on the bench for loanee Michael Keane alongside a welcome return for Jeff Hendrick. Simon Dawkins was involved as The Rams got off to the best possible start cutting inside from the left before being sandwiched by Ivan Ramis and Leon Barnett on the edge of the area at the expense of a freekick that was expertly dispatched by Craig Bryson with only two minutes on the clock. Ben Watson threatened at the other end but fired harmlessly over the top and he was involved at the other end when a wayward pass was picked up by Dawkins and his pace took him into the area before calmly slipping the ball under Lee Nicholls to double the lead on fifteen minutes.
Chris Martin won and converted a penalty just before the half hour mark as the dream start for Derby continued as he sent Nicholls per the wrong way from the spot and Watson received a yellow card not long afterwards after hacking down Russell just inside his own half. James McArthur`s clever run into the area ended with him firing straight at Lee Grant from a tight angle and Stephen Crainey curled a freekick onto the underside of the bar in the dyeing stages of a half that Wigan were simply second best in.
Owen Coyle introduced Grant Holt and Roger Espinoza at the break and Wigan came out a different side with Emmerson Boyce heading straight at Grant and Nick Powell gave the home side a glimmer of hope five minutes in when he headed home Boyce`s cross from the right. McArthur`s header dropped the wrong side of the post from a James McClean cross and Jake Buxton sliced a low cross against his own bar as Wigan continued to pressurise the Derby defence. Grant made a superb reflex save from Powell who hit a half-volley towards the bottom corner with twenty minutes to go and substitute Marc Antoine Fortune headed straight at Grant again with a late chance but The Rams saw out the closing stages to secure another fine victory on the road.
Wigan Athletic: Nicholls, Crainey, Watson (Espinoza 45), McClean, McManaman (Fortune 84), McArthur, Boyce, Powell, Ramis, Barnett, Keane (Holt 45).
Subs not used: Carson, Shotton, McCann, Gomez.
Derby County: Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Eustace (Hendrick 62), Bryson, Hughes (Cisse 85), Dawkins, Martin, Russell (Bennett 58).
Subs not used: Legzdins, Keane, Davies, Sammon.
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Date:Monday December 2 2013
|Sheff Wed||0||-||1||Derby County|
|1. Leicester City||34||24||5||5||+33||77|
|3. Derby County||35||18||8||9||+17||62|
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