I’m sure we’ll never ever witness a football game like it again. Who’d have thought at half time, with The Rams 3-0 up and cruising, that Scunthorpe could possibly win the cup tie. Nigel Clough still hasn’t won a League Cup game as Derby manager (he was appointed the day of the win against Man United but wasn’t ‘in charge’ and didn’t pick the team), with Derby exiting the competition in the first round for the fourth successive season.
Derby started the game well, with some neat passes. Scunthorpe didn’t really pose a major threat during the course of the first period. Will Hughes looked excellent, playing some neat passes. Paul Coutts also had a brilliant first half and always looked positive on the ball, getting forward and exchanging some good balls.
The goals started flooding in after 30 minutes of the first half, Richard Keogh grabbing the first goal from a Michael Jacobs corner on his Rams competitive debut. Another two goals came from set pieces in the first half, new number five Jake Buxton bagging one and striker Theo Robinson getting the other. New signing Michael Jacobs’ corners were clearly causing problems for the Scunthorpe, with Derby having players in the box proving to be an ariel threat. Michael Jacobs looks like he can be an ‘assist master’ for Derby this season, his corners in that first half were superb.
When the half time whistle blew I never thought for a second what was to come, The Rams looked home and dry. Derby were also playing good football, having most of the possession. Will Hughes and Paul Coutts looked particularly good in that first period, based on that Hughes deserves to start Saturday’s game with Sheffield Wednesday.
After Barcham scored his goal on 52, a mazy run through Derby defenders and a good shot past Fielding, everyone thought for a second that we might not have the game in the bag but then Jake Buxton scored a powerful header from another Michael Jacobs set piece.
Derby still looked good in the opening minutes of the second half but things seemed to change when Nigel Clough made two subs on around the hour mark. Ben Davies came on for Craig Bryson, who I’m sure Clough was just resting after an injury earlier in pre-season. Tom Naylor came on in the awkward position of left back for Gareth Roberts, who likewise to Bryson has already picked up an injury in pre-season. Those two subs seemed to change things for Derby, unsettling the team’s play. Less good football by Derby was played from that point.
When Richard Keogh was brought down in the penalty area on 72 minutes and the referee pointed to the spot roars from the fans demanding Jake Buxton (on a hat-trick) takes the spot-kick but that wasn’t to happen. Theo Robinson stepped up and Slocombe saved well. Slocombe was in good form, despite letting in all those goals, he prevented Derby from scoring many more times.
Paul Coutts’ brilliant cross was headed home by Nathan Tyson on 83, scoring his first competitive Rams goal. Before that Grant scored for Scunthorpe but Tyson’s goal gave Derby a two goal cushion going into the final few minutes.
Mason Bennett was brought on for Hughes to run down the clock but that wasn’t to be the case, Scunthorpe scored two goals after 90 minutes. The second of those two, Tom Naylor tripped a Scunthorpe player in the area resulting in a penalty goal by Grant.
Extra time was not what Nigel Clough wanted, particularly ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener with Sheffield Wednesday. Bennett, Robinson and Jacobs all came close in the first half of extra time and Jacobs, Coutts and Davies went close in the second half of extra time.
After a roller coaster penalty shoot out, going to sudden death, Scunthorpe won 7-6 on penalties. Jake Buxton notably scoped a penalty for Derby, which by the way I’m counting for a hat-trick! Tom Naylor missed the decisive penalty for The Rams as the club crashed out of the League Cup.
This won’t help the team in preparations for Saturday. How can a team concede 5 goals at home? It shows the defence isn’t very settled together yet and we’re really going to miss Shaun Barker. Scoring 5 goals is excellent and from set pieces also looks promising. Will Hughes, Paul Coutts and Michael Jacobs all impressed me, deserving a place on Saturday. Theo Robinson didn’t play well at all, he was caught offside plenty of times in the first half and lacked any huge threat to the Scunthorpe defence with the main threat coming from crosses and corners. Jacobs and Coutts service for strikers looks promising, if only we did have this ‘proven striker’ in.
I suppose we should expect the unexpected, after all this is the roller coaster club this is Derby County.