Rams Fall To First Defeat
Attendance: 15, 317
Poor defending cost Derby County as they fell to a 3-2 defeat against Charlton Athletic at The Val-ley last night. An early goal from George Tucudean sparked The Rams into life and after a spell of pressure they equalised when Jamie Ward curled home a superb finish from the edge of the area. As Derby appeared to be taking control they fell behind again on the stroke of halftime when a clumsy challenge from Richard Keogh lead to a penalty that Yoni Buyens duly converted. After en-joying the lions` share of possession after the break The Rams found themselves further behind with twelve minutes to go when Igor Vetokele headed in from close range and Ward`s second goal of the game after a mistake by Nick Pope had little impact on the outcome of the game.
Charlton started the game brightly and took the lead after eleven minutes when Jordan Cousins` cross from the left picked out George Tucudean and he turned sharply in the area and drove the ball into the bottom corner beyond Lee Grant. The goal seemed to spring The Rams into life and a flowing move nearly brought them level when Chris Martin nodded the ball down to Craig Bryson who then found Jeff Hendrick but his shot was straight at Nick Pope.
Derby continued to pull the home side around with their movement and were level just after the half-hour when Pope pushed away an effort from Martin, Hendrick then got himself on the ball finding Bryson who laid off to Jamie Ward and the Northern Ireland international curled home a superb finish from the edge of the box. Just as The Rams looked to have taken control of the match they fell behind again on the stroke of halftime when Tucudean twisted his way into the area and went down under a clumsy challenge from Richard Keogh. The referee pointed to the spot and Yoni Buyens stepped up to send the penalty high into the top corner.
Omar Mascarell replaced Will Hughes at halftime and his early mistake nearly lead to a third Charl-ton goal when his loose pass was picked up by Vetokele but Grant beat away his effort. Derby stepped up the pressure at the other end and Bryson had a shot deflected wide before Martin flicked a header over and Keogh rifled a half-volley over the crossbar.
With The Rams looking for one last push to get themselves back into the match they fell further behind when Franck Moussa was given too much time on the right to cross the ball which was flicked to the back post where Vetokele headed into an unguarded net. Just as the game looked to be over Ward scored his second goal of the night when his low shot went straight through the legs of Pope; It was the last moment of note in the match however as Derby fell to their first de-feat of the season.
Charlton Athletic: Pope; Gomez, Jackson, Bikey-Amougou, Gudmundsson (Fox 89), Vetokele, Wiggins, Buyens, Cousins (Wilson 64), Ben Haim, Tucudean (Moussa 45).
Substitutes: Phillips, Morrison, Harriott, Church.
Derby County: Grant; Christie, Forsyth, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Dawkins (Russell 69), Hendrick (Best 79), Martin, Ward, Hughes (Mascarell 45).
Substitutes: Roos, L. Naylor, Eustace, Whitbread.
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