Strike pair on tar­get for Rams

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­ By Chris Spit­tles

DERBY County’s twin strike­force grabbed a goal each to down Yeovil Town and prove the Rams have found that elu­sive cut­ting edge.

Renowned for play­ing at­trac­tive, pass­ing football, Nigel Clough’s Rams needed front­men to fin­ish off the chances cre­ated by young mid­field stars Will Hughes and Jeff Hen­drick.

So Clough signed Johnny Rus­sell for £750,000 from Dundee United this sum­mer and brought in Chris Martin from Pre­mier League side Nor­wich.

And the move has paid in­stant div­i­dends as the strike duo have now scored five goals be­tween them this sea­son.

They both net­ted in County’s com­fort­able win over di­vi­sion new boys Yeovil, with Craig Bryson also on tar­get as he fin­ished off a flow­ing pass­ing move.

Clough said: “We had a lot of pos­ses­sion in the first half and had to be pa­tient be­fore the goals came but then two came in a short space of time.

“I’m al­ways de­lighted when both strik­ers get on the score­sheet and that’s what hap­pened.

“Johnny Rus­sell put us ahead and then Chris Martin was where all good cen­tre for­wards should be and fin­ished it off for the third.

“That’s five goals be­tween them for the sea­son now and we’re pleased with their con­tri­bu­tion so far.

“I think Lee Grant and the de­fend­ers de­served a clean sheet as well. They played well, the de­fend­ing was ex­cel­lent.

“I’m pleased to win away again but we need to start win­ning at home as well and that needs to hap­pen as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Yeovil have now lost three Cham­pi­onship games on the bounce af­ter win­ning at Mill­wall on the open­ing day of the sea­son.

This was their harsh­est les­son yet, as Derby com­pletely out­played the Glovers in the first half, ef­fec­tively wrap­ping up vic­tory in­side 45 min­utes.

Man­ager Gary John­son said: “The dam­age was done in the first half and we just didn’t seem to be able to re­act to what Derby were do­ing.

“Some play­ers can freeze a lit­tle bit on match days.They look good in train­ing but it doesn’t hap­pen for them in games.

“The two goals be­fore half­time were de­mor­al­is­ing and al­though we gave it a good go in the sec­ond half there was no way back, we weren't good enough.

“But peo­ple have got to be care­ful and think be­fore they crit­i­cise. We’re in the Cham­pi­onship and it’s a very hard di­vi­sion.

“There are teams that are much big­ger than us and play­ers who have far more ex­pe­ri­ence..

“I need time to work out which of our play­ers are good enough for this level and even­tu­ally we’ll get a group which can com­pete.”

Derby dom­i­nated the first half, but had to wait un­til three min­utes be­fore the break to take the lead.

Defender Richard Keogh was al­lowed to stride out of de­fence and played a per­fect through ball to put Rus­sell clear of the Yeovil de­fence.

The Scot­tish striker kept his cool as he clipped the ball over Yeovil debu­tant Wayne Hen­nessey into the net.

Just three min­utes later the Rams dou­bled their lead, this time a slick pass­ing move in­volv­ing Jamie Ward and Rus­sell slic­ing through Yeovil’s de­fence.

Rus­sell even­tu­ally found Craig Bryson in the clear, with the mid­fielder slot­ting past the help­less Hen­nessey.

Yeovil threw on strik­ers Paddy Mad­den and Andy Wil­liams at half-time, but within 13 min­utes of the sec­ond half they fell fur­ther be­hind.

This time Hen­nessey failed to hold a pow­er­ful shot from Ward and Martin pounced on the loose ball to score from close range.

Yeovil im­proved and Wil­liams and Liam Davis forced saves from Lee Grant, but they’d al­ready been shown ex­actly what it will take to be com­pet­i­tive in the Cham­pi­onship this sea­son.

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

WHO’S THE MAN?: Johnny Rus­sell cel­e­brates his opener for Derby

SAND­WICH: Yeovil’s Joe Ralls is tack­led by Derby’s Will Hughes and Kieron Free­man

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