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The Rams receive no spooks from Redfearn’s Millers

Chasing their seventh win in nine to maintain their current form, Derby County were clearly the bookmakers’ favourites; for their last fixture in the month of October at home to second bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table, Rotherham United.

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Article by Fred Gough

Derby County [3] Rotherham United [0] - Attendance: 30,172

The South Yorkshire, still trying to find their best form and have the surprise exit of Steve Evans and bringing in of former Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn, they had suffered the opposite to their hosts ahead of this clash.

Paul Clement was forced to make one change to his starting eleven which had beaten another Yorkshire side last week at Huddersfield, bringing in former Aston Villa player Andreas Weimann for only his second start since joining the club in the summer for the injured Tom Ince. There also were two changes to the bench as central midfielders Hendrick and Bryson made it into the matchday eighteen after their time in the medical department.

It didn’t take long for the Rams to get the ball in the goal for their first of the afternoon; a defence cutting pass from Jacob Butterfield found a surging Craig Forsyth at the byline who crossed it into the middle of the penalty area for Austrian Weimann to stab home his first competitive goal in the black and white.
The away side tried from long range to threaten Scott Carson who had a largely quiet afternoon in the Derby County goal, whereas his opposite and pantomime villain Lee Camp, was called into action far more frequently. The former Rams keeper was called into action when Jacob Butterfield hit a rising long range effort which gained the first corner of the game for the home side.

Irish international Cyrus Christie’s change of form since returning to the side at the start of the momentous form has been impressive and the wing back tried to tee up Johnny Russell who couldn’t find the target with his effort, another Andreas Weimann attempt from the edge of the box just dragged wide.

However it was the Bradford born Butterfield who like Weimann who would score his first for his new side to double the Rams’ lead. A string of eighteen passes eventually made it to Butterfield who took aim for the bottom corner and beyond Camp’s outstretched attempt to save it.

Half Time: Derby County 2 Rotherham United 0

A quieter second half period saw fewer opportunities but despite Rotherham finding a bit more space in the midfield, the away side still failed to take the opportunity to inflict the Derby defence. Weimann was unlucky not to score his second, after lobbing an onrushing Camp but the ball was scooped away by a Rotherham defender on the line.

A largely quieter display by last week’s hero George Thorne had seen the midfielder booked in the first half, which tallied his name into the referee’s notepad for the fifth time this season, meaning he will miss the Queens Park Rangers fixture on Tuesday night, the deep lying playmaker was replaced by Jeff Hendrick, whose powerful surging runs got the game back into the home side’s favour.
It was little surprise when Derby got their third as their performance deserved it, Chris Martin’s long range free kick rattled the crossbar had forced a corner and from the resulting corner former captain Richard Keogh lashed in his first since a 5-1 win against Blackpool, the last time Derby had been enjoying similar form in December 2013.

Jason Shackell could have made it four for the home side after his header rebounded off the top of the crossbar.

Full Time: Derby County 3 Rotherham United 0

Paul Clement described this victory for his side as a really strong display; the former right hand man to Carlo Ancelotti has helped build confidence back at the East Midlands side. Derby have strengthen in all departments with such a squad oozing with quality and a high morale as they continue to press high in the table. Victory has now put the Rams one point behind Hull City and Burnley and three behind a Brighton side, starting to jangle despite being the only unbeaten outfit in the Football League.

The signings of Weimann and Butterfield have started to blossom after stuttering starts to their Derby County careers but both deserved their goals in this performance and hopefully they can continue this form.
The next six fixtures for the Rams will certainly prove to be litmus paper of how strong are Derby, starting with a double header next week at home to Queens Park Rangers before making the short journey down Brian Clough Way to Nottingham Forest to end the week. After the international break, fixtures at home to Cardiff and Brighton sandwich two Sky live games in Hull and Sheffield as Clement’s men end November at the KC Stadium before starting December at Hillsborough.

There does appear to be an air of optimism back at the iPro Stadium and the league table is starting to form the sub groups which dictate a club’s fate, on the basis of Derby’s current form, there is no reason why Premier League next season is achievable however fans must stay grounded as a year ago, the Rams lost at Brentford in a yo-yo spell of topping the table before sinking heavily after Christmas and New Year.


DCFC [4-3-3] – Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Forsyth, Thorne (y/c – (Hendrick - 63), Butterfield (Bryson – 79), Johnson, Weimann , Martin ((capt) Bent – 77) & Russell; Substitutes – Warnock, Shotton, Baird, Grant, Hendrick, Bent & Bryson

Rotherham United [4-2-3-1] – Camp, Buxton, Broadfoot, Collins, Mattock (y/c - ), Smallwood (y/c - ), Newell (Green – HT), D. Ward, G. Ward, Toffolo (White – 62) & Clarke-Harris; Substitutes – Maguire, Green, White, Richardson, Bowery, Collin & Thorpe.

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