Derby continued their impressive home form with a 3-2 win of Lee Clark’s Birmingham City. Conor Sammon doubled his season goal tally with a brace and Nathan Tyson completed the scoring with a winner with just six minutes remaining on the clock.
The first-half was dominated by the Rams but the Blues started the second period brightly, however that evened out as the half progressed. There was spells in the second period where the home side seemed to sit back a bit. It was a generally good all round team performance for Derby.
Adam Legzdins got the nod ahead of Frank Fielding between the sticks. The ex-Burton goalkeeper didn’t have too much to do in the first half. The second half was a busier one for the defence and goalkeeper, who couldn’t do anything about a well placed Marlon King penalty.
Nigel Clough decided to keep the same back four as he did last week in the 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park. Right-back John Brayford linked up well with right midfielder Paul Coutts, as they have on numerous occasions this campaign. Skipper Richard Keogh and Jake Buxton faced a tough battle with the Blues choosing to start Marlon King and 6 ft 8 Zigic. It’s fair to say that they coped very well in a physical battle. It was Keogh who conceded the penalty to Birmingham’s West Ham loanee Robert Hall, it looked quite harsh. Jake Buxton played a pivotal role in Conor Sammon’s second goal, the former-Burton defender headed the ball down for Sammon to fire home. Gareth Roberts was described as a ‘role model’ in the week by manager Nigel Clough, the left-back gave another steady performance.
Jeff Hendrick being dropped was the big talking point in the starting line-up, that decision certainly paid off. Consequently of that decision, Will Hughes slotted into a central midfield role with Craig Bryson. Bryson was pretty energetic, getting forward and helping out with the Derby attacks. The Scotsman had a great chance to score in the first half, but he put it whiskers over the bar. Will Hughes, back in his usual position of centre midfield, seemed a bit off it for spells, in my opinion. The newly capped England under-21 international drove a strike over the bar and had one parried by Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland. Paul Coutts got forward and helped out, proving exactly why he has been such a bargain for the Rams. Michael Jacobs started the game and looked very lively and gave the Blues’ defence a tough time. His low and inviting cross set up the Rams’ winning goal, scored by sub Nathan Tyson. The 21-year old was announced on the tannoy as man of the match for what was an excellent performance, which should definitely keep him in the starting eleven for the Rams’ next fixture.
Theo Robinson and Conor Sammon got the nod up front. The tall striker, who had only scored two goals this season prior to the game, battled hard and showed exactly why Derby paid Wigan Athletic £1.2 million for his services. He gave the Birmingham defence a tough time and got his rewards with a brace, just edging it as my man of the match over winger Michael Jacobs. Theo Robinson didn’t have one of his best games in a Derby shirt, missing a couple of chances, and being substituted early.
Nathan Tyson again came on from the bench and again made a real impact. He scored the winning goal six minutes from the 90 to win the tightly fought game. I strongly believe that he should now be handed a start, how about this impact and quality from the first minute?
Line-up: Legzdins (GK); Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Coutts, Bryson, Hughes (Hendrick 90), Jacobs (O’Brien 90); Robinson (Tyson 72), Sammon. Subs: Fielding (GK), O’Connor, Freeman, Bennett.
Goal Times: Conor Sammon (32 minutes), Marlon King (73 minutes, penalty), Conor Sammon (80 minutes), Peter Lovenkrands (82 minutes), Nathan Tyson (84 minutes).
The victory puts Derby back in to the top half of the table, 12th place, just three points off the play-offs. The next game is on Tuesday against top of the league Cardiff City at Pride Park.
Come on you Rams!