Rams Take Points After Strong Start
Attendance: 31. 051
A strong first half and a red card helped Derby County to a 3-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park. A quick start saw Bradley Johnson hit the bar amongst a flurry of chances before David Nugent headed home Tom Ince`s far post cross. Johnson added a second firing home from Johnny Russell`s ball into the area and Ivan Cavaleiro was shown a red card for Wolves after an off the ball clash with Johnson. Ben Marshall pulled a goal back against the run of play in added time but it was a temporary blip for The Rams who continued on the front foot after the break and Craig Bryson was on the end of another run and cross from Russell to out the game to bed as they saw out the last half-an-hour to take the points.
Gary Rowett made five changes to side for the closing home fixture of the season with Chris Baird, Jacob Butterfield, Craig Bryson, Tom Ince and David Nugget all returned to the starting line-up as The Rams switched to a familiar 4-3-3 formation. They started much the stronger of the two sides as Ince was twice denied and Bradley Johnson cracked a shot against the crossbar as they looked for the opening goal and it came with twelve minutes on the clock. A cross to the far post from Ince sat up nicely for Nugent and he calmly nodded past Harry Burgoyne to give his side the lead.
Wolves came back into the match and Nuoha Dicko`s power and pace took him away from Richard Keogh but he dragged his effort across goal and wide of the far post. Derby went back on the front foot and doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Johhny Russell found room down the left and his low ball into the area was met by Johnson who thumped it low into the net.
Russell had an effort cleared off the line after Burgoyne flapped at a corner and things got worse for the visitors as Ivan Cavaleiro was shown a red card after pushing his head into the face of Johnson although minimal contact was made. Russell came closer still not long afterwards after getting Marcus Olsson`s cross but his looping effort stuck the bar. With the game entering added time Wolves created a goal from nowhere after Dicko powered past Keogh and pulled the ball back for Ben Marshall who lashed the ball into the roof go the net from close range.
The Rams showed not ill effects from the goal as they started the second half at high tempo with Kortney House just doing enough to deny Nugent a sight of goal from Russell`s cross and Keogh firing over from the edge of the area as he tried his luck. The pressure eventually told as a neat move ended with Russell`s ball into the are picking out Bryson and he calmly converted to put the result beyond any doubt.
The game entered a quiet period after the goal until Cyrus Christie`s run into the area ended with a curling effort the wrong side of the post and Wolves had one last shot through Bright Enobakhare but Carson got a hand to it and The Rams saw out the closing stages to end their season at Pride Park with a comfortable three points.
Derby County: Carson, Baird, Keogh, Pearce (Christie, 68), Olsson (Anya, 83), Butterfield, Bryson, Johnson, Ince, Nugent, Russell
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, De Sart, Vydra, Bennett, Macdonald
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Burgoyne, Edwards, Saville, Dicko (Bodvarsson, 78), Evans, Coady, Saiss, Hause, Cavaleiro, Williamson, Marshall (Enobakhare, 73)
Substitutes not used: Ruddy, Pereira, Batth, Mason, Graham