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REPORT: Derby ride their luck in draw at Stoke


The Rams shared the points after an end to end, physical duel against an impressive Stoke City.


Derby remain unbeaten under Phillip Cocu, as a Martyn Waghorn brace either side of goals from Liam Lindsay and Scott Hogan made sure the Rams' boss didn't succumb to his first defeat.


Stoke had a few chances to put the game in their favour, striking the woodwork twice, but the spoils had to be shared between the neighbouring sides.


Martyn Waghorn opened the scoring just two minutes into the game. It came about through a Derby counter-attack. Scott Malone dragged the ball back for Kieran Dowell. The midfielder’s shot landed just in front of Waghorn, who with his back to goal managed to hook his shot past Jack Butland to give the Rams the lead. 


Stoke weren’t going to roll over though. Just seven minutes later, they struck the post. A shot from the edge of the box deflected off of Derby midfielder George Evans, meaning Kelle Roos could only parry the shot. The ball landed for Joe Allen from four yards out but the Welshman could only direct his shot onto the post before it was cleared.


The Rams started well. The fluidity, movement and passing was quality and kept Stoke at bay for large parts of the game. That was until midway through the half, Stoke began to flex their physicality and fought their way into the contest. 


The Potters made the next twist in the tie. Liam Lindsay stuck away his header from a corner to bring the tie level.


They weren’t done there though. Tom Ince struck the bar just six minutes later from the edge of the penalty area. The shot left Roos stunned, the ‘keeper rooted to the spot.


Derby switched to a three at the back, bringing on Krystian Bielik to add some control but Stoke continued the second half as they finished the first. 


A long ball over the top was all it took to pick apart the Derby defense, just 56 minutes into the game. Lee Gregory pounced onto the ball to pull back into Scott Hogan, who slotted away with ease on his home league debut for the Potters.


The game took a sour turn as Josefzoon’s strong challenge sparked a mass brawl on the pitch and the match stepped up as a result. The scuffle sparked memories of last season's ugly brawl.


Only three minutes after the scuffle, the Rams had a chance to draw level. Max Lowe played a defence splitting pass to find Evans in the box. The midfielder took a touch before being brought down by Tommy Smith to earn Derby a penalty. 


Waghorn saw his penalty saved against Swansea last week but he was confronted with a chance to bury that memory from the spot. The forward slotted the ball straight down the middle, much to the distain of Stoke ‘keeper Butland and his trailing leg. Derby drew level and were into the ascendancy for the remaining moments of the match.


The best chance of the remaining few minutes fell for Waghorn. The forward was presented with a neat move from substitute Jack Marriott and Josefzoon, finding himself one-on-one with Jack Butland. The English goalkeeper ushered Waghorn wide of the goal and managed to tip the shot with every sinew in his body, ensuring the game ended as a draw. 


Derby County: Roos, Malone (Bielik 46), Keogh, Clarke, Lowe, Huddlestone, Evans (Knight 79), Dowell, Lawrence (Marriot 72), Waghorn, Josefzoon.


Attendance: 23,863 (2,909 away)

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