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Derby County 0-1 Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 13th Sep 2016 21:53

Luke Varney netted against his old club eight minutes after coming on as a half-time sub to see the Blues to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Derby at the iPro Stadium where Town are undefeated in almost a decade. The striker hit a 25-yard shot - the Blues' first on target - which Rams keeper Scott Carson could only help on its way into his net.

Adam Webster and Conor Grant replaced the injured Tommy Smith and Freddie Sears in an otherwise unchanged side but with Town lining up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Grant on the left and Kevin Bru behind striker Brett Pitman.

Derby made two changes with Jacob Butterfield coming in for Johnny Russell, who has a calf problem, in midfield and Alex Pearce taking over from Jason Shackell at centre-half.

The Blues had most of the ball in the early stages but it was Derby who created the first chance on five, James Wilson breaking towards the edge of the box before Webster stopped him in his tracks.

The Rams went close to going in front in the 10th minute when Luke Chambers’s clearing header from a cross from the right only reached Matej Vydra on the edge of the box. The Czech Republic international hit a powerful low shot which Bartosz Bialkowski brilliantly stopped. Chambers atoned for his error by reaching the loose ball before Wilson

Derby continued to look the more dangerous side with their pace going forward proving a significant threat but without Bialkowski being tested again.

But the Blues began to get on top as the match reached the 20-minute mark, Bru and Jonas Knudsen combining with Grant Ward on the left before the ex-Spurs winger hit a low shot well wide.

On 22 Bru, who was finding a lot of space midway inside the Derby half, fed Grant to his left. The on-loan Everton man crossed to the far post and the ball deflected out to the Mauritius international, whose attempt to loop the ball back into the box was blocked.

Town continued to have more of the ball, passing it around confidently at times, but without creating an opportunity.

In the 31st minute a Butterfield freekick on the Derby right, awarded after Grant had fouled Cyrus Christie, was cleared to Craig Bryson, who hit a shot through a crowd of players which Bialkowski claimed at the second attempt.

The Rams were taking charge again and two minutes later, after Bru had got caught in possession midway inside his own half by Will Hughes, Bryson shot wide, off a Town defender according to the home players but not referee Stuart Attwell.

Town found themselves very much under the cosh as the half entered its final 10 minutes. Chambers blocked an Ikechi Anya shot, then Cole Skuse was booked for a foul on Hughes. Moments later, Webster bundled the ball behind after Anya had cut in from the left.

On 38 Webster made a strong run from deep unchallenged but Derby quickly regained possession and brought the ball forward again.

A minute later Berra was booked for a foul on Hughes and Butterfield sent the resultant 25-yard freekick wide.

The Derby pressure continued, Wilson hitting a low shot from distance which Bialkowski saved down to his left. Knudsen cleared the danger.

Half-time gave the Blues some respite having been pinned back in their own box for most of the final 15 minutes.

After weathering the Rams’ earlier spell of dominance, the Blues briefly got on top but without creating a serious chance. However, the home side regained control and Town will be pleased to have gone in still level at the break.

The Blues made two made two changes at the start of the second half with Varney and Tom Lawrence, making his Blues debut, taking over from Grant, who had never really got to grips with the pace of the game, and Bru, who had drifted out of it towards the end of the half. Lawrence started on the left with Varney joining Pitman up front.

Bryson hit the second period’s first shot wide two minutes after the restart, before Varney picked up a quick booking for a foul on Pearce.

But in the 54th minute the 33-year-old, in his third spell with the Blues having signed a short-term deal until January last month, put Town in front via their first shot on target.

The one-time Ram brought the ball inside from the right and hit a 25-yard shot which Carson could only palm into the corner of his net. The former England keeper will feel he should have done better with Varney’s first goal of his latest spell and third goal overall for Town.

The goal quietened down the home crowd with their side having been unable to replicate their late first-half dominance after half-time. On 61 Butterfield hit a shot which deflected through to Bialkowski.

Five minutes later Lawrence was sent away down the left and crossed accurately with the outside of his right boot to Ward, who headed over.

But the home side gradually began to put the pressure on again. Knudsen did well to cut out Anya’s final ball after some slick Derby passing into the box, then Bialkowski claimed a freekick sent in from left.

Teddy Bishop replaced Skuse in the 72nd minute, the Bristolian having received treatment moments earlier.

Hughes shot not far wide from 20 yards on 75 with the Rams being limited to efforts from distance. Two minutes later, Butterfield hit a strike which hit Webster and then Vydra before going behind.

The Rams began to put the Blues under heavy pressure in the final 10 minutes. On 82 Pitman blocked superbly on the edge of his own box.

Three minutes later, former Town man Darren Bent, who had come on as a sub, blazed over after the ball was played to him on the edge of the box after a cross from the left.

On 87, Berra and then Pitman cleared a dangerous ball in from the Derby right, sending Varney away on the left. Ward made a superb untracked run down the middle but Varney opted to go alone and shot tamely to Carson.

As the match entered its final scheduled minute Pitman was booked for a foul on Hughes, referee Attwell having allowed play to continue after the challenge but with Derby unable to make anything of the attack.

In three minutes of injury time sub Nick Blackman shot not too far wide from 25 yards and seconds before the final whistle the former Reading man came even closer to claiming a point.

Hughes escaped down the left, cut in and crossed low, the ball deflecting to Blackman six yards from goal. The ex-Sheffield United frontman seemed certain to score but Knudsen somehow blocked and Bialkowski grabbed the ball right on his line.

Moments later, referee Attwell’s whistle confirmed Town’s first away win of 2016/17 as a chorus of boos rang around the iPro Stadium.

Having ridden their luck at times towards the end of the first half, once Varney had scored his goal the Blues saw out most of the second period without too much danger until the final moments when Blackman looked certain to score.

The goalscorer will undoubtedly be delighted to have been the hero against one of his old clubs and the former Ram made an impression even aside from his goal and might have created a second for Ward.

The three points sees Town up to ninth in the table with the Blues next in action at home to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers (c), Webster, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse (Bishop 72), Bru (Varney 46), Douglas, Ward (Lawrence 46), Grant, Pitman. Subs: Gerken, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Best.

Derby: Carson, Christie, Keogh (c), Pearce, Olsson (Blackman 88), Butterfield, Bryson, Hughes, Anya, Vydra, Wilson (Bent 64). Subs: Mitchell, Shackell, Ince, Baird, Johnson. Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire). Att: 26,425.

Photo: Action Images

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obj124 added 21:54 - Sep 13
Yes Ipswich COYB - always knew Varney was the one

Gcon added 21:54 - Sep 13
Well done to MM and the team.
One point off the top six.

blueboy1981 added 21:55 - Sep 13
Dick Turpin springs to mind - but, great three points. Typical 'hit and run' away win.

Credit where due - Well done All.

blueboy1981 added 21:57 - Sep 13
........ full marks to the one and only 'Bart'. Yet again.

iaintaylorx added 21:57 - Sep 13
Where would we be with Bialkowski, honestly? He is our best keeper in years and his dad will be so proud of him! Unbelievable keeper and we're so luck to have him!

Mr_Evans added 21:57 - Sep 13
A win is a win, but like the Preston game, we weren't convincing. The stats will show that an out of form Derby side should have buried us. They missed 3/4 sitters and Bart made a few cracking saves.

Worst of it is, MM will come out all smug thinking he's a tactical genius. When in reality we got lucky with a goalkeeping blunder.

jas0999 added 21:58 - Sep 13
Well, all the so called bad luck has been evened out tonight. Derby the better side, but this was a dogged performance, lacking in style, ability and entertainment, but ended in a fortunate goal and a one nil win. Can't fault the result, but as stated at half time, I don't like the style of play or boring tactics. Nonetheless it's been effective tonight. Good result.

Swn98 added 21:58 - Sep 13
Well done boys great defending Bart mom good substitutions from mickma cant wait to get home about 1.00 so i can see if the moaners can conjure up 7 pages of anti club bile like saturday.

iaintaylorx added 21:58 - Sep 13
Adding to Bart, sounds like Webster was fantastic tonight!

jayceee added 21:58 - Sep 13
Cool photo carousel!

TheSelkirk added 21:59 - Sep 13
Here's hoping Bart is not in the shop window come January. Premiership class!

Kirbmeister added 21:59 - Sep 13
Whatever has happened this season so far, no one can deny that's a good win.

brian_a_mul added 21:59 - Sep 13
Bonkers league, we deserved a bit of luck tonight. Well done Bart and reg! Ward looks dangerous and interesting to see Webster having the balls to play out from the back :)

guentchev added 22:00 - Sep 13
Great win. Well done Bart in particular!

blueboy1981 added 22:01 - Sep 13
Swn98 ........... give it up you miserable basket. Sorry, I mean ex Essex57.

Currie10 added 22:01 - Sep 13

Oh, we win a game, every comment doesn't have 27 + after a defeat with some smug pathetic childish digs.

Computers broken tonight gents? Perhaps you can keyboard warrior some other forum.

Bring on the Villa.

DurhamTownFan added 22:04 - Sep 13
That's an amazing win and I don't want to take away anything from the result, but does this give MM another excuse for plying his disgusting brand of football for longer? I feel it does.

sixtyblue added 22:04 - Sep 13
Give a lifetime contract,he is carrying this poor team.Most of problems caused by poor team selection of players some of whom have not been good enough to where the shirt.

Brownie added 22:04 - Sep 13
Wasn't there but well done to the lads and those of you who were there!

Big game now Saturday - chance to hit the top 6 against a big team.

Still worry about the lack of goals but, hey 1-0 at Derby is a good win.


BlueMachines added 22:04 - Sep 13
Can we play there every week? Please!? Well done lads. A much needed win. MM will love that. We finally nicked a win.

BlueandTruesince82 added 22:05 - Sep 13
COYB. 3 needed points. We have to do Villa, I work with Villa fan and can't face a Monday of chirping

IpswichT62OldBoy added 22:05 - Sep 13
Great result, the team played well by all accounts and 3 points from 2 away games is a good haul, especially as we have been robbed of at least three points by odd reffing decisions .
Lets see what we do to Villa, I am more hopeful.

blueboy1981 added 22:06 - Sep 13
Amazing how the 'forever satisfied brigade' are the miserable baskets - when we win.

Perhaps that speaks volumes ..... ??

pinewoodblueboy added 22:06 - Sep 13
3 points, clean sheet, backs to the wall for long periods of the game, but for Bart & some last ditch defending could have easily lost, but, a very welcome win nonetheless. Villa will pose a very stern test this Saturday. Be brave Mick & attack them from the start..................We will see.

ianmarshall10 added 22:07 - Sep 13
CAN WE PLAY THERE EVERY WEEK!! Get in.....Well done Mick for making the changes at half time and thank god for super Bart

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