Poor Defending Costs Rams Again
Attendance: 27, 138
It was the same story again for Derby County as poor defending after a bright start saw them fall to a 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Pride Park as the visitors moved above them in the table. Andreas Weimann had a goal disallowed for offside amidst a fast start from the The Rams but defensive errors saw Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ryan Sessegnon give the visitors the advantage and they dominated the ball for the rest of the half. Tom Huddlestone`s defected effort at the midway point of the second period have Derby hope but Tom Lawrence`s effort was cleared off the line with the goal at his mercy and Marcus Bettinelli`s superb injury time save sealed the wi for Fulham.
Ryan Sessegnon had the first chance of the game in the opening minutes after The Rams filed to clear their lines but Scott Carson was down quickly to save at his near post. After winning the ball back Derby then hit the visitors on the break and Andre Wisdom`s low cross was turned home by Andreas Weimann only to be denied by an offside flag. After being forced to defend by a spell of pressure Fulham took the lead after some woeful defending. A corner to edge of the area was mishit by Stefan Johansen but Craig Forsyth couldn`t clear and the ball dropped to the feet of Aleksandar Mitrovic eight yards out and he gave his side the lead following another deflection off Forsyth.
The goal visibly rocked Derby but they went close when Wisdom cut inside on the break but his left footed effort was just wide of the far post. Just as they looked to have ridden out the storm though more poor defending saw them fall further behind. Richard Keogh failed to clear his lines and then stumbled as Johansen`s clever back heel gave Sessegnon yards of room inside the area and he fired low across Carson to double Fulham`s lead. The visitors controlled the game for the rest of the half with Tom Cairney keeping his side in possession as they bossed the midfield areas to go in 2-0 ahead.
Mitrovic scuffed an effort wide after another moment of panic in The Rams` defence and despite fighting back they didn`t look like troubling the screenshot as Jerome`s touch deserted him after a neat lifted pass looked to have put him on goal and Tom Lawrence shot over with a half-volley.
With twenty minutes to go Tom Huddlestone pulled one back for Derby from the edge of the area as his deflected effort found the bottom corner. Fulham did their best to kill the game and it wasn`t until the closing minutes that their goal was in danger again. Firstly Jerome knocked a deep free kick back into the area with Marcus Bettinelli stranded but Lawrence didn`t make proper contact with his effort and it was cleared off the line. Keogh then had a final chance in added time as the ball fell to him from a corner but Bettinelli made a superb full length save to push the shot behind and confirm his side as victors.
Derby County: Carson; Wisdom (Anya, 77`), Keogh, Davies, Forsyth; Huddlestone (Johnson, 84`), Thorne (Palmer, 56`); Weimann, Vydra, Lawrence; Jerome.
Substitutes not used: Roos, Pearce, Ledley, Nugent.
Fulham: Bettinelli; Fredericks, Ream, Odoi, Targett; Johansen (Norwood, 63`), McDonald, Cairney; Ayite (Piazon, 71`), Mitrovic, Sessegnon (Ojo, 87`).
Substitutes not used: Norman, Christie, Fonte, Kamara