Woeful Rams Beaten By Brighton
Attendance: 27, 552
Brighton & Hove Albion brushed Derby County aside as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at the Amex Stadium. Anthony Knockaert opened the scoring inside five minutes and Sam Baldock slotted home a second as the home side showed why they are pushing for automatic promotion. Matej Vydra hit the woodwork with the only chance for The Rams before Glenn Murray bundled home a third after Scott Carson saved his first shot with twelve minutes to go as Derby were second best all night.
Julien de Sart and Darren Bent returned to the starting lineup in front of the SkySports cameras but Brighton were out of the blocks quicker and Jiri Skalak fired into the side netting before the first goal came on five minutes. Anthony Knockaert collected the ball wide on the left and cut inside beating de Sart before lashing a low left-footed shot into the bottom corner. Darren Bent had a quick chance to put his side level when he headed a centre from Cyrus Christie over the top and it was once way traffic from there into the break.
Skalak`s delivery from dead ball situations caused some nervy moments for the Derby defence and Glenn Murray headed over from his corner before the Czech winger fired over after cutting inside at the end of a flowing move. Sam Baldock shot over after a quick break forward and then forced Scott Carson into another save before Murray headed wide from a pinpoint cross from the right. The pressure told before the break after a neat interchange of passes ended with Baldock free in the area and he calmly slotted home giving Carson no chance.
Steve McClaren introduced Will Hughes and Craig Bryson at the break as he changed formation but it had little effect as Carson had to be on his toes to tip over a Knockaert effort from Baldock`s knockdown. In a rare attack Matej Vydra`s header clipped the woodwork after being picked out by Christie and whilst The Rams were seeing more of the ball they rarely looked dangerous.
Chris Baird blocked a Murray effort but the striker went on to claim his eighteenth goal of the season when his effort from a cross was saved by Carson but the ball rebounded onto the striker and into the net with twelve minutes to go to round off a miserable evening for The Rams.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Stockdale; Bruno (Tomori, 65), Huenemeier, Dunk, Rosenior; Knockaert (March, 82), Stephens, Kayal, Skalak; Murray (Hemed, 79), Baldock
Substitutes not used: Walton, Sidwell, Norwood, Akpom
Derby County: Carson, Christie, Baird, Pearce, Olsson; De Sart (Bryson, 46), Butterfield; Ince, Nugent (Hughes, 46), Vydra; Bent
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, Russell, Anya, Lowe, Bennett