GEORGE IS A THORNE IN TERRIERS’ SIDE
DERBY boss Paul Clement believes the best is still to come from his side after the Rams overcame Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Harry Bunn cancelled out Chris Martin’s eighth strike of the season, but George Thorne’s thunderbolt early in the second half sealed Derby’s fourth win in five games.
And after extending an unbeaten run which stretches back to September, Clement believes it has not only been Martin’s goals that are behind his side’s good run.
“I still believe we’ve got lots to improve on and we are going to get better and better. We’ve got massive potential,” he said.
“Martin’s contributed with a good amount of goals which has been supplemented by Bradley Johnson, by Johnny Russell, by Tom Ince, but he’s in a good vein of form, long may that continue.
“I put a big challenge on the players at half-time to step it up and that we have to come away with a win. They responded brilliantly.
“It was a wonderful strike from George, good positioning for the second ball and he set it up nicely for himself and then a wonderful strike that I don’t think any keeper’s going to save.”
The deadlock was broken on the quarterhour by the Rams when Russell’s mishit effort found Martin and the hotshot buried clinically past Jed Steer.
But the Terriers drew level when Richard Keogh’s mis-kick fell to Ishmael Miller in the box and the forward’s effort rebounded off the bar and Bunn was on hand to slot home the 31st minute follow up from close range.
Steer showed his quality by producing a marvelous stop to tip Jason Shackell’s 41stminute header from Russell’s corner over the bar.
But Thorne handed his side back the lead with a formidable rightfooted 48th-minute strike which flew into the top corner and left the diving Steer with no chance.
The Terriers nearly responded in perfect fashion when an unmarked Martin Cranie met Mustapha Carayol’s 54th-minute corner but Scott Carson was untroubled.
Cyrus Christie floated in from the right and fired a 72nd-minute effort at Steer with the stopper diverting the ball behind with an outstretched leg.
From Russell’s resulting corner, Steer saved from Miller as the targetman unwittingly headed the ball towards his own goal from pointblank range.
Derby looked to seal the win with a quick counter-attack and Andreas Weimann found Martin who fired a powerful 78th-minute effort, but Steer was quick off his line to smother the chance.
Nottingham Forest loanee Jamie Paterson twisted and turned as he drove towards the Derby rearguard and unleashed a fierce 81st-minute effort which was only just wide. And despite Steer coming up for a late corner, he could not prevent Town slipping to their first loss in three.
Town boss Chris Powell, whose side now sit 15th in the Championship, said: “I think we played one of the best teams we’ve played so far.
“They’re a very good team and squad and they obviously have that pressure of trying to get up hanging over them.
“We needed to bed ourselves in in the second half and we made a major mistake, needed to clear our lines, didn’t do it and then it’s an outstanding goal, one of the best you’re going to see this season.
“We competed, tried to give our all and we tried to play our game and tried to fashion chances but we played a side who you’re going to have to catch on a good day and we’re going to have to be at our best to take something from.”
OPENER: Chris Martin scores the first goal of the game for Derby