An impressive victory for The Rams, the first win of the season.
Not for one second, prior to the game, did I think Derby would win so emphatically.
From the off The Rams looked the better side, looking sharp going forward. Watford not posing a threat, at all throughout.
Derby’s first goal came on 16 minutes, a free-kick near to the box tapped to Ward. The former Sheffield United striker delivered a perfect cross, Richard Keogh rose well to head the ball home.
Richard Keogh has looked a real threat from set pieces this season, where a lot of The Rams’ goals have come from.
Nigel Clough decided to start with the same eleven that drew 1-1 at Wolves, Will Hughes starting out wide. I don’t think he’s as effective from the wing, but he does drift inside though. His vision and passing is top draw and he had another good game today.
Jeff Hendrick bagged The Rams’ second goal on 36 minutes, again from a set piece. Paul Coutts put in a brilliant cross for the Irish youngster to head past Almunia, with ease. Again showing Derby pose a good threat from set pieces and have some fantastic deliverers of the ball in Paul Coutts and Jamie Ward.
Conor Sammon’s goal was wonderful, his first goal in the black and white of Derby. He showed excellent strength and determination to carry the ball into the box and delightfully hit the ball over the Watford ‘keeper. “Feed the fish and he will score” chanted the home support. That goal came with 2 minutes remaining of the first half.
Watford was terrible throughout that period and The Rams looked a good threat going forward. Derby could just walk through Watford’s awful midfield.
At half time Derby led 3-0, surely game in the bag? Well, judging by previous games this season, definitely not.
I expected Watford to come out fighting a little more in the second half, but really they didn’t.
It took The Rams just 7 minutes of the second half to get a fourth goal. Will Hughes hit home a rebound to score his first senior goal. That was very pleasing to see Will get the goal after breaking through to the first team and seeing him make such an impact. I don’t think it’ll be too long before a big club comes in for him, he doesn’t look like a teenager out on the pitch at all.
Craig Bryson had a good game today, playing his usual box-to box role. He covers so much ground and is a real engine in the middle of the park. Paul Coutts also had a good game, with some spot on deliveries and nice link up play.
Jamie Ward got the fifth goal, Coutts showed excellent strength to hold off the Watford defence and square the ball to leave Ward with an easy tap in. Goalscorer Ward had a decent game, playing off Sammon.
Richard Keogh had a brilliant game in the heart of the back four, making me think he’s every bit as good as Jason Shackell. Tackling and organisation looked spot on from the natural leader.
Vydra slotted home nothing more than a consolation for The Hornets with around 15 minutes left.
It’s quite difficult to pick a man of the match but I think I’d go for Craig Bryson, who could be proving a point to work his way back into future Scotland squads.