Town go down to quickfire second-half goals at Pride Park
Second-half goals from Joe Ledley and Tom Lawrence gave Derby the points at Pride Park.
Town matched the Rams for the first hour but Ledley edged the home side in front with a deflected strike from 20 yards and seven minutes later former Blues’ loanee Lawrence found the net with a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Trevoh Chalobah and Kayden Jackson both had shots from distance but Derby saw the game out without too many alarms.
Town made one forced change from the team that performed so well against Aston Villa on Saturday, the suspended Tayo Edun replaced by Grant Ward.
Former Blues, Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott, started on the bench for Derby, with ex Town loanee Lawrence included in Frank Lampard’s starting line-up.
It was Lawrence who nearly got in for Derby in the first minute, Luke Chambers in the right place to clear and the Rams enjoyed a spell of possession in the early stages, Bart Bialkowski off his line to prevent David Nugent getting in.
Chalobah stabbed the ball wide at the other end as Town threatened for the first time, Lawrence seeing a free-kick from 30 yards strike the Blue wall, then Chalobah lost possession, Mason Mount’s cross beating all.
Jon Nolan fired wide after a quick free-kick, Jonas Knudsen’s cross then cleared as Ellis Harrison looked to get in at the far post before Derby were forced into a change with the injured George Evans replaced by Ledley.
Nugent sent a left footer wide from the angle of the box, Town smothering the danger from Lawrence as he shot from 20 yards, Knudsen in the right place to clear.
Ward forced a save from Scott Carson, Janoi Donacien’s cross just evading Morrison, then Chalobah’s left foot let him down, his shot from 15 yards going well wide to bring an end to a tight first-half of few openings.
Mount dragged his shot wide as Derby searched for an early second-half breakthrough, Nolan doing likewise at the other end before Flynn Downes entered the fray to replace Cole Skuse.
Chambers headed over from Ward’s free-kick before the Rams took the lead on the hour, Ledley finding the roof of the net with a terrific strike from 20 yards.
Jackson replaced Harrison in Town’s second change and the Rams extended their lead on 67 minutes when Lawrence’s free-kick seemed to go through the wall and Bialkowski’s left hand couldn’t keep the ball out of the net.
Florian Jozefzoon replaced Mason Bennett in Derby’s second change, with Jordan Roberts on for Gwion Edwards in Paul Hurst’s last shuffle of his pack.
Marriott replaced Nugent for the closing stages, Chalobah well over from Ward’s pass as Town looked for a way back into the game, then Chambers spotting the danger from Jozefzoon as Derby threatened a third.
Jackson was inches away from getting on the end of Knudsen’s cross, the signing from Accrington then testing Carson but Blues couldn’t find a way past the Derby ‘keeper.
Derby: Carson, Forsyth, Bryson, Tomori, Keogh, Mount, Lawrence, Evans (Ledley 26), Bennett (Jozefzoon 69), Nugent (Marriott 77), Bogle. Subs not used: Roos, Wisdom, Waghorn, Lowe. Booked: Bryson, Keogh.
Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Edwards (Roberts 75), Skuse (Downes 54), Chalobah, Nolan, Ward, Harrison (Jackson 63). Subs not used: Gerken, Spence, Sears, Kenlock. Booked: Nsiala.