FT: DERBY COUNTY V BURNLEY (Saturday 7th September)
From Pride Park Stadium
DERBY COUNTY 1
Blake 50 (pen)
Barton (og) 54
Two goals in four second-half minutes completely turned this game on its head after the Rams had gone in a goal to the good at half-time. Adam Bolder’s sixth minute strike gave the Rams the advantage as they set the pace in the first-half but Burnley were transformed by the arrival of half-time substitute Glen Little. The tall winger joined Ian Moore and Robbie Blake in a revamped frontline and Derby lost control of the game.
The Rams had looked comfortable in the opening 45 minutes but they were knocked back twice in the early stages of the second-half and never recovered. Firstly, Blake was fouled by Chris Riggott five minutes in and the striker got up to the convert the penalty. As the Rams tried to take in the leveller Burnley poured forward with Andy Oakes getting clattered by Moore before the Clarets went ahead. More good work on the right from Little created space for Blake and Warren Barton deflected his low cross into his own net. Lee Grant replaced the dazed Andy Oakes soon afterwards and he was to be by far the busier of the two goalkeepers as Burnley threatened to add a third goal on the break and held on comfortably for the win
John Gregory’s only change to the side that overcame Stoke City at Pride Park Stadium a week ago was an enforced one with Mart Poom on international duty so Andy Oakes duly returned. Another Ram on international duty was Giorgi Kinkladze and his place on the bench went to Lee Morris who scored for the reserves at the City Ground in midweek.
For Burnley,goalkeeper Marlon Beresford had rejoined the Clarets for a fourth time on Thursday and manager Stan Ternent had no hesitation in replacing Nik Michopolous for the game. Ternent’s men arrived looking for their first away points of the season following a winless start to their campaign and the famous Claret and Blue colours were on view only sparingly in the South Stand.
Morning sunshine gave way to drizzle in time to welcome John Gregory’s men who were looking for back-to-back wins. The home crowd stood to welcome the Rams on to the field with Danny Higginbotham also mostly getting support when his name was announced in John Gregory's side.
Burnley began with Ian Moore isolated in attack and Mark McGregor sweeping behind a five man defence – it’s the first-time this season the Rams have faced a back five and Derby settled their nerves with an early goal as the sun returned to Pride Park.
The Rams first attack in earnest saw Barton running on to Lee’s throughball and crossing well to the far post where a diving Adam Bolder seemed certain to score with a firm header that Beresford somehow clawed away for a corner – Bolder could hardly believe he hadn’t scored but hadn’t time to dwell on the near-miss before putting his name on the scoresheet .
With the first corner cleared and the second blocked away Burnley looked to have avoided the danger but a superb first-time pass by Rob Lee found corner-taker Adam Murray on the right and although his measured cross eluded Chris Riggott it dropped to Bolder on the edge of the box. The midfielder is nothing if not precise in front of goal and as with his winner at Blundell Park; Bolder measured his range and as the defence closed in smashed home an unstoppable effort that crashed in off the post to put the Rams ahead with only six minutes on the clock.
Burnley responded immediately at the other end but Danny Higginbotham put in a fine challenge as Paul Weller’s cross headed towards to Ian Moore and the Clarets got a foothold in the game with a series of set-pieces as they worked hard to get on terms.
The Rob Lee-Warren Barton axis was working well for John Gregory and the two combined with a quarter of an hour gone with Lee’s cross eventually headed goalwards by Adam Murray but Beresford saved with some comfort. The Rams were not yet fluent but Lee continued to control the game in midfield and McGregor was at full stretch to keep out Christie from the former England international’s throughball.
The midpoint of the half was marked with Paul Boertien going into the book for a rash challenge on Weller – the left-sided man could hardly argue and was grateful that Higginbotham shepherded out Ian Moore as the referee played advantage. Derby were still not at their best and with the referee insisting that free-kicks were taken from pinpoint positions the game was not really flowing despite the goal.
Malcolm Christie had been making runs without reward but simple interplay with Barton gave him room to dumbfound Ian Cox with a clever overhead flick and race into the box. As Beresford edged right expecting a cross-shot the 23 year-old frontman hammered the ball against the foot of the near post with the Burnley goalkeeper beaten and the ball raced to safety.
For a side that had yet to win, Stan Ternent’s men were continuing to make an impact on the game without looking likely to score at this stage and Richard Jackson had to be alert as Moore got away from Higginbotham on the edge of the box. The mobile Moore was finding space and along with elusive Weller and classy Robbie Blake, was bringing Burnley into the contest more and more.
The Rams were intent on retaking full control of the game and started to put together some lengthy spells of possession as the game approached the 40 minute mark. After a textbook demonstration of keep-ball Christie released Boertien on the left but as his cross was too deep and Strupar could not direct it goalwards.
A twisting run to Christie came to nothing and as the game became scrappier with a rash of free-kicks the half-time break arrived. The Rams were ahead at the break for the first-time in four home games this season but a arguably this had been the least impressive showing from Gregory’s side who would be looking to improve in the second-half. Having said that not even the most optimistic of Burnley supporters could have predicted the complete change in the pattern of the game in the second-half.
Stan Ternent decided to replace the workmanlike Johnrose with Glen Little at the break and with McGregor moving out to the left the Clarets had a more attacking shape to them for the second period. Robbie Blake moved up alongside Moore and the contest promised to be more open from here on in. Blake proved just that as he slid in to meet a McGregor cross but could not keep his effort on target and the Clarets won a penalty as the game swung their way.
Moore got away from Higginbotham and he could only half-clear as the striker headed to the by-line. The ball fell between Riggott and Blake and as the Rams centre-half stepped in to challenge Blake went down and referee Hall pointed to the spot. Blake picked himself up to fire a penalty low to the right of Andy Oakes to spark joyous celebrations in the away end.
The goal brought Burnley to life and within four minutes they were ahead. The Rams were being pinned back and although Moore was booked for an elbow on Oakes the tide had turned. Again Blake found space on the right as he combined with substitute Glen Little on the edge of the box and as the Rams failed to close Blake down his low cross canoned off Barton and into the roof of the Derby County net.
Astonishingly, the Clarets had scored twice in four minutes without having a shot on target in open play and John Gregory looked to his own attacking options to rescue this game with Lee Morris coming on for Adam Murray just before the hour mark as the Rams tried to regain some attacking momentum.
There was no change initially as Barton did well to block a cross-shot from Weller but Morris then showed real sparkle as he escaped on the right cut inside and hit a fine shot that Beresford was fortunate to parry to safety. Strupar then won a free-kick on the edge of the box but the Belgium international hammered his effort against the Burnley wall.
McGregor was then booked as Burnley steeled themselves to hold out and with a double rainbow arcing across the rear of the East Stand, Lee Grant came on to replace the dizzied Andy Oakes who could not recover from the elbow in the face. Grant’s first task was to collect the ball from behind his goal after Blake hammered a Dean West cutback over the bar.
Morris had been given a free role by John Gregory but the Rams were being closed down well by Burnley who knew they only had twenty minutes to hang on for a first win of the season and Derby were resorting to long balls as they strove anxiously to get into the Burnley half.
Lee Grant made the first save of his career by comfortably gathering Moore’s shot and his quick throw out allowed Bolder to feed Lee but when the former Newcastle United man was brought down Burnley were able to block out the free-kick.
Grant continued to be the busier of the two ‘keepers as the Rams could find no answer. The 19 year-old custodian did well to block out Moore as the Rams’ back-line hesitated when Strupar gave away possession and held on well to hold on to a long-range effort from Blake.
Riggott denied Little and then as time ran out the tireless Moore curled a shot just inches beyond Lee Grant’s post. The Rams launched a last effort through Barton but when his cross was headed down by Strupar it was comfortable for Beresford and at the end of a game two opposite halves Burnley took all three points back to Lancashire and the Rams fell to their second home defeat of the season.
Derby County: Oakes - (Grant 66); Barton (Captain); Higginbotham; Riggott; Jackson; Boertien; Lee; Bolder; Murray (Morris); Strupar; Christie;
Subs: Grant; Twigg; Evatt; Morris; O’Neil
Burnley: Beresford; West; Briscoe; Grant; Gnohere; Weller; Moore A; McGregor; Commons, Blake, Johnrose(-Little-45)b.
Subs: Michopolous; Moore A; Payton; Little; O’Neill
Booked: Boertien, Ian Moore,
F*ck, F*ck, F*ck, well the season is over, we can't play we are crap. I think the players did derserved to be booed at the end of the game. We were playing a team that only scored 1 goal in 6 games! The first half was great, but once again the scoring chances were few, but out of the few we did get one goal from Adam Bolder. The second half we were crap. It could of been 5-1 Burnley but Lee Grant and Richard Jackson saved alot of those goals. Once again Lee Morris did nothing, he appeared as a sub in the beggining of the 2nd half. The penalty was a right call but i was suprised Chris Riggott did not get a card for the penalty. Really bad game for Derby, our next game is a pointless game against Mansfield on Tuesday, and our next league game is against Liecester at the new Walkers Bowl. We really need to start winning games and only start players that want to play!
COME ON YOU RAMS!!!