Derby scored three times in the second half against 10-man Watford to secure a fifth straight win and equal a club record points tally.

Watford led early on through Troy Deeney's cool finish as they chased the remote possibility of a play-off place.

But the first of two Jeff Hendrick goals levelled it before Craig Forsyth's drive put the Rams in front.

Marco Cassetti was sent off and after Mathias Ranegie had equalised, Hendrick and Chris Martin, late on, won it.

Deeney had given Watford the perfect start as he ran onto a pass from Cristian Battocchio to lift the ball over Lee Grant and claim his 23rd goal of the season.

But Derby replied with a clutch of chances and it was no surprise when Hendrick latched onto an attempted clearance from Daniel Pudil to slot the ball past Jonathan Bond from 12 yards.

Jamie Ward was then denied by Bond as the home side continued to dominate and with an hour gone they went ahead when Craig Bryson set up Forsyth to fire home.

Watford were then reduced to 10 men when Cassetti received a second yellow card, while results elsewhere also conspired to end their hopes of a top-six finish.

But the Hornets did equalise two minutes later when substitute Ikechi Anya crossed for Ranegie to head past Grant at the far post.

Both sides then had chances to go in front but it was Derby who grabbed the initiative again thanks to a stunning goal from Hendrick, who crashed a 25-yard shot past Bond.

Top scorer Martin then got in on the act as he slid the ball home from a tight angle for his 23rd goal of the season as Derby equalled the 84 points achieved by Billy Davies' promotion-winning side eight years ago.

Derby head coach Steve McClaren:

"Credit to the players, they keep getting themselves out of a hole and getting the results but in terms of the way forward we certainly need to tighten up in a few areas.

"We scored four but we're not ruthless enough in that and it's ruthlessness at both ends that we need. If we make those kind of mistakes in the play-offs it will make our job very difficult.

"What we have tried to do is provide consistency, not just in results but in performance. That's what we need to get back to, making it difficult for opponents and not thinking we can just go out and outscore them."

Watford manager Giuseppe Sannino:

"I have to say sorry to everyone, all the supporters that came here today. But sometimes football is like that, you have a good performance and then straight after you have this kind of performance.

"What is very disappointing for me is that we didn't show the right anger today to win this game.

"I am looking for a strong finish to have an assessment of which players can help us next season and to show a good commitment to the club and the supporters."

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Derby County

  • 01 Grant
  • 33 Wisdom
  • 03 Forsyth
  • 34 Thorne
  • 06 Keogh
  • 25 Buxton
  • 04 Bryson
  • 08 Hendrick
  • 09 Martin (Hughes - 87' )
  • 11 Russell (Bamford - 75' )
  • 10 Ward (Dawkins - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Naylor
  • 14 Eustace
  • 19 Hughes
  • 26 Legzdins
  • 27 Whitbread
  • 32 Dawkins
  • 35 Bamford

Watford

  • 30 Bond
  • 15 Riera Booked
  • 18 Pudil
  • 06 Ekstrand (Hoban - 53' )
  • 27 Cassetti Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 12 Doyley
  • 07 Battocchio
  • 28 Tözsér Booked
  • 13 Ranegie (Faraoni - 75' )
  • 09 Deeney Booked
  • 10 McGugan (Anya - 57' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Merkel
  • 16 Murray
  • 19 Faraoni
  • 21 Anya
  • 24 Woods
  • 31 Hoban
  • 36 Jakubiak
Ref: Scott Duncan
Att: 25,922

Match Stats

Shots

28 13

On target

8 4

Corners

14 7

Fouls

2 9

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Derby County 4, Watford 2.

90:00 +5:34 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Derby County 4, Watford 2.

90:00 +4:44 Booking

Booking Troy Deeney (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +4:36

Craig Bryson (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +4:36

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

90:00 +3:03

Attempt missed. Daniel Pudil (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér.

90:00 +2:18

Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andre Wisdom.

90:00 +1:55

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Jonathan Bond.

90:00 +1:54

Attempt saved. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Craig Forsyth.

88:49

Offside, Watford. Troy Deeney tries a through ball, but Cristian Battocchio is caught offside.

87:49

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Simon Dawkins.

87:42

Attempt saved. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Daniel Tözsér with a cross.

87:17

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.

86:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Will Hughes replaces Chris Martin.

85:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 4, Watford 2. Chris Martin (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Craig Bryson with a through ball.

82:05

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high. Assisted by Marco Davide Faraoni.

80:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 3, Watford 2. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Simon Dawkins.

79:03

Attempt blocked. Cristian Battocchio (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

77:32

Attempt missed. Simon Dawkins (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Martin.

76:16

Attempt blocked. Andre Wisdom (Derby County) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Thorne.

74:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Marco Davide Faraoni replaces Mathias Ranégie.

74:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Patrick Bamford replaces Johnny Russell.

73:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Derby County. Simon Dawkins replaces Jamie Ward.

73:20

Offside, Derby County. Andre Wisdom tries a through ball, but Jeff Hendrick is caught offside.

72:27

Attempt blocked. Johnny Russell (Derby County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Bryson.

71:42

Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

69:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 2, Watford 2. Mathias Ranégie (Watford) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ikechi Anya with a cross.

67:33 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Marco Cassetti (Watford).

67:15

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Bryson.

66:54

George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:54

Foul by Mathias Ranégie (Watford).

66:28

Attempt missed. Craig Bryson (Derby County) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jeff Hendrick with a cross.

64:36

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

64:23

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Bryson with a cross following a corner.

63:56

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Cristian Battocchio.

62:51

George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:51

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

61:30

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Lloyd Doyley.

61:29

Attempt blocked. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

60:32

Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right.

60:25

Attempt saved. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

59:18 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 2, Watford 1. Craig Forsyth (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Craig Bryson.

58:15

Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

57:31

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Lloyd Doyley.

56:57

Offside, Derby County. Lee Grant tries a through ball, but Chris Martin is caught offside.

56:57

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

56:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Ikechi Anya replaces Lewis McGugan because of an injury.

56:03

Delay in match Lewis McGugan (Watford) because of an injury.

55:37

Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:37

Foul by Troy Deeney (Watford).

52:16

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

52:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Watford. Tommy Hoban replaces Joel Ekstrand because of an injury.

50:52

Delay in match Joel Ekstrand (Watford) because of an injury.

50:30 Booking

Booking Daniel Tözsér (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

49:47

Attempt blocked. Albert Riera (Watford) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney with a headed pass.

49:11

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Andre Wisdom.

47:59

Attempt saved. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:40

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Andre Wisdom.

45:00

Second Half begins Derby County 1, Watford 1.

45:00 +3:23 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Derby County 1, Watford 1.

45:00 +3:17

Attempt missed. Mathias Ranégie (Watford) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Lewis McGugan with a cross.

45:00 +2:59

Attempt blocked. Albert Riera (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

42:37

Attempt missed. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Craig Forsyth.

39:31

Offside, Watford. Mathias Ranégie tries a through ball, but Daniel Pudil is caught offside.

36:41

Corner, Watford. Conceded by George Thorne.

36:21

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

35:21

Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jeff Hendrick.

33:36

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

32:51

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

32:11

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Albert Riera.

30:05

Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Derby County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by George Thorne.

28:59

Attempt blocked. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Troy Deeney.

27:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 1, Watford 1. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

26:48

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Albert Riera.

26:18

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

26:16

Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Martin.

24:40

Attempt missed. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

24:11

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Johnny Russell with a cross.

23:19

Foul by Jake Buxton (Derby County).

23:19

Mathias Ranégie (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:46

Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jamie Ward following a corner.

22:11

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.

21:42

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Tözsér.

21:13 Booking

Booking Albert Riera (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

20:33

Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

20:33

Foul by Albert Riera (Watford).

18:18

Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:18

Foul by Albert Riera (Watford).

13:55

Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Johnny Russell with a cross following a corner.

13:28

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Marco Cassetti.

13:02

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:02

Foul by Joel Ekstrand (Watford).

11:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

11:01

Delay in match Mathias Ranégie (Watford) because of an injury.

11:00

Delay in match Jake Buxton (Derby County) because of an injury.

9:54

Craig Bryson (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:54

Foul by Daniel Tözsér (Watford).

8:29

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

7:07

Foul by Richard Keogh (Derby County).

7:07

Albert Riera (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:51

Attempt blocked. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

6:49

Attempt blocked. Jamie Ward (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Thorne.

6:29

Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Daniel Tözsér.

4:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Derby County 0, Watford 1. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Cristian Battocchio with a through ball.

3:56

Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

3:26 Booking

Booking Marco Cassetti (Watford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

3:10

Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

3:10

Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

2:07

Attempt blocked. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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