Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Martyn Waghorn’s fifth goal of the campaign handed the Rams a 1-0 win at Pride Park on Saturday over high-flying Preston.
Derby put in an impressive display, that could’ve ended in a more comfortable fashion had they taken their chances, but some great rear-guard action helped secure all three points.
Phillip Cocu made two changes for the game, with Mason Bennett and Craig Forsyth reintroduced to the starting eleven, the latter making his first start in over a year. The Dutchman also switched up his shape, opting for a 4-2-3-1 rather than the midfield diamond which gave Derby some extra width.
It was the visitors who had the first clear chance of the game, however. Patrick Bauer firing well over from mere yards out from the goal.
Derby faced two set backs early on, with Bennett and Graeme Shinnie forced off through injury in the first half. That wouldn’t stop the Rams though, as Chris Martin and Duane Holmes combining on the edge of the box. Holmes let fire from 18 yards out, rattling the crossbar with his effort.
After the introduction of Waghorn, the forward made an instant impact. The first, a chance by which he beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with Declan Rudd. The goalkeeper matched the effort to deny Derby the lead.
The deadlock didn’t remain for much longer though. Just a minute later, Curtis Davies met the resulting corner with Waghorn poaching the effort to take the lead.
The first half ended with Derby turning in an impressive attacking display. The width and channel balls caused issues and the passing was slicker than recent performances.
The second half display fell on the other side of impressive, with the back-line mainly to thank for that.
Preston did put one in the back of the net, only to be denied by the flag of the linesman on the near side following a neat move with Tom Barkhuizen.
The Rams rear-guard was called into action as the visitors piled on the pressure late on, but the home side saw out the slim victory to pick up all three points.
Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Davies (C), Forsyth, Lowe; Bielik, Shinnie (Evans; 15); Holmes, Lawrence, Bennett (Waghorn; 28); Martin (Wisdom; 77)