Derby County 5 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Ryan Shotton 16
Jeff Hendrick 28 & 55
Johnny Russell 42 & 61
The rain poured down during this game but nothing could dampen the fireworks on the pitch or indeed the spirits of the Rams fans as Derby County romped to a 5-0 win against Wolves and ended the day on top of the Championship.
This was a terrific performance from the Rams, on top throughout, sharp and pacey, incisive and energetic and against a Wolves team, let us remember, that started the day in 6th place with a chance to go joint top had they won.
As Johnny Russell slotted in the fifth goal as the rain poured down it reminded me of something…
Mid day kick-off……game on Sky Sports…..rain bucketing down ….Rams win 5-0…when was the last time that happened….oh yes…March 22nd 2014 when we hammered the neighbours …happy days…
Back to the present and the Rams made one change to the team that beat Huddersfield on Tuesday with Simon Dawkins restored to the starting XI as Jordan Ibe missed out.
You can tell a lot by how we start a game – we came out of the blocks quickly for this game, looked energetic and up for it, and the forensic quick passing game that is so effective was working well.
A so far season’s best attendance of 30,398 (bolstered by a loud and good natured 2,700 from Wolves), was treated to three first half goals, Ryan Shotton getting ahead of his defender at a free kick to force home a header after 16 minutes, Jeff Hendrick accepted a the ball from Simon Dawkins in midfield, ran on and fired home from 20 yards on 28 minutes and Johnny Russell, freed from corner taking duties by the presence of Omar Mascarell loitered with intent on the edge of the penalty area for a corner on 42 minutes, controlled the loose ball, slalomed into the area and slotted home from 12 yards.
In the midst of a whole host of excellent performances Omar Mascarell caught the eye, being a regular and reliable presence in breaking up budding Wolves moves as well as orchestrating our attacks. He is looking more at home with each game played and if we are only just starting to see his potential we are in for some treats for the rest of the season.
Wolves had one good chance to score when the margin was still 1-0 , Sam Ricketts’ cut back finding George Saville unmarked near the penalty spot, his shot, though, was wide and little else that Wolves did troubled us while the game was still competitive.
A delicious move early in the second half saw Chris Martin and Will Hughes release Jeff Hendrick who made it 4-0 and then on the hour Johnny Russell connected with a characteristic Craig Forsyth cross across the box firing high into the net to make it 5-0 and also unveiling an acrobatic goal celebration in the process.
Johnny is rightly a favourite of the crowd, receiving yet another standing ovation when replaced by Ivan Calero today, his work rate is huge and his will to win obvious. It seems that the benefit of his starting in six successive games now is being reflected in his goal scoring with today’s two goals taking his tally to five for the season so far. If JR manages to hit 12-15 goals this season it will bode very well for us.
I treated a Wolves supporting friend to the game today though as the goals rattled in I think he would have objected to the term “treated”. When Jeff Hendrick’s first goal flew in he turned to me and said we were going to beat them 5-0. I shook my head doubtfully, partly out of not wishing to gloat….but how right he was.
The Championship table is looking good tonight and while it is annoying that the international break is upon us again just as we roll out such a good performance we have two blank weeks to admire the table at leisure.