Full Time: Derby County 4-2 Fulham
A cracking at the iPro Stadium ended up with Fulham dropping straight back out of the play-off places. Derby got to within 7 points of the Cottagers after the home side grabbed a 4-2 with on the night.
Derby County have dropped just 2 points since Gary Rowett’s appointment as manager. They have now taken 7 from 9 overall.
Striker David Nugent grabbed a hat-trick and missed a penalty in a spectacular performance. Lifting the ball over Button to open the scoring, Nugent looked to have set Derby well on their way before Floyd Ayite grabbed an equaliser.
Fulham had good possession and were always dangerous. However, they missed their chance to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half.
Derby were awarded a penalty just before half-time, though Button managed to tip away Nugent’s kick who missed the chance to put his team 2-1 up. Following the resulting corner, Nugent produced a stunning volley to restore the lead for the Rams.
Having tapped Derby’s 3rd on the hour mark, Nugent made the game safe and was later withdrawn to huge applause. Johnny Russell knocked one into the right corner to make it a slightly unfair looking 4-1 scoreline before Ayite grabbed his second of the game ten minutes later to reduce the arrears.
Derby County Player Ratings:
Scott Carson – 7/10
Solid and dependable once again. It was a high scoring game and he did his best for the team, eventually helping them come out 4-2 winners.
Chris Baird – 7/10
The veteran put in another sound shift at right-back. The scoreline does not really suggest truth about the Derby’s defensive performance.
Richard Keogh – 7/10
A solid performance at the back. Did well for most parts of the game and the defence was only outplayed by one player named Ayite.
Alex Pearce – 6/10
Will claim an assist for the brilliant second goal, but other than that he was solid rather than spectacular.
Marcus Olsson – 5/10
Provided the first goal for Nugent but was otherwise disappointing. He could have done better considering that the entire team played well.
Tom Ince – 6/10
Not his best night but he’ll come back strong. It was a decent performance and will be itching to do better next time out.
Bradley Johnson – 7/10
A good shift in the midfield. Was in control of the game and was important in maintaining the fluidity of Derby’s game.
Craig Bryson – 9/10
An assist and an excellent all round performance from the Scotsman. Was only outshined by Nugent’s goal scoring exploits and was equally impressive like David.
Johnny Russell – 8/10
Lively all evening and added the gloss with the 4th goal. A late booking didn’t really spoil what he achieved in the game.
Matej Vydra – 6/10
Has been getting his wish to play more centrally but needs to do more if he is to nail down his place there.
David Nugent – 9/10
Scored three goals and missed a penalty – it was some night for the front man! Was taken off after an outstanding performance.
Ikechi Anya – 7/10
Late sub for hero Nugent and was lively when he came on.
Jacob Butterfield – 6/10
On at half-time for Vydra. A reasonable display but nothing to write about.
Will Hughes – 6/10
Was not there on the pitch long enough to make too much of an impact.