Championship
WatfordWatford2DerbyDerby County3

Watford 2-3 Derby County

By Mike PeterBBC Sport
Derby County celebrate scoring

Derby took the lead three times at Watford as they recorded their second successive Championship victory under new manager Steve McClaren.

Jamie Ward's header put the Rams ahead early in the first half, but Fernando Forestieri equalised within minutes.

Ward's tap-in meant Derby led again at half-time, before Lewis McGugan's superb curled shot levelled the scores.

The hosts dominated much of the second half, but could not stop substitute Connor Sammon slotting home late on.

The match started at pace as Watford's Essaid Belkalem headed wide after being unmarked at a corner, before Ward outjumped Daniel Pudil to head home Craig Bryson's cross.

But the visitors had the lead for only four minutes, as neat interplay between Josh McEachran and McGugan put Forestieri through on goal to delicately chip keeper Lee Grant.

McClaren spent much of the match in the upper reaches of Vicarage Road's semi-demolished East Stand, but descended in time to see his side go ahead by the break.

Bryson robbed Iriney and exchanged passes with Chris Martin before sliding the ball across to Ward for an easy second.

Derby almost extended their lead early in the second half with Ward and Bryson going close, but soon found themselves on the back foot as Watford poured forward.

Former Nottingham Forest man McGugan was the recipient of Derby supporters' catcalls as he twice struck free-kicks over the bar.

But the midfielder silenced them with a fantastic strike, curling the ball in from outside the box after trading passes with Pudil.

The introduction of muscular substitute Sammon helped Derby retain the ball in the opposition half, and he clinched all three points for the Rams when Will Hughes sent him through to slot home.

Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola:

"It is tough to take but we have to blame ourselves. It is not enough to play good football and score two great goals.

"We need to get better in defending.

"To win championships, you have to be able to attack well - as we did - but we need to defend better."

Derby manager Steve McClaren:

"We talked about the changes and it was a decision to make, do we put a defender on and try to stop the flow and try to hang on, or change the system and try to go forward?

"[Assistant manager] Paul Simpson was saying, 'go for it, let's try and get the winner'.

"We decided to do that and he did a great job, Connor - it worked."

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Almunia
  • 27Cassetti
  • 18Pudil
  • 6EkstrandBooked at 79mins
  • 5BelkalemBooked at 59mins
  • 4Angella
  • 23Santos Da SilvaBooked at 22minsSubstituted forMurrayat 55'minutes
  • 10McGugan
  • 11Forestieri
  • 20FabbriniSubstituted forAcuna Caballeroat 76'minutes
  • 8McEachran

Substitutes

  • 2Brown
  • 7Battocchio
  • 12Doyley
  • 15Acuna Caballero
  • 16Murray
  • 28Smith
  • 30Bond

Derby

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Grant
  • 2A SmithBooked at 78mins
  • 3ForsythBooked at 64mins
  • 14Eustace
  • 6Keogh
  • 27WhitbreadSubstituted forBuxtonat 33'minutes
  • 4Bryson
  • 19Hughes
  • 9Martin
  • 20BennettSubstituted forDawkinsat 45'minutes
  • 10WardSubstituted forSammonat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Jacobs
  • 17Freeman
  • 18Sammon
  • 24Morch
  • 25Buxton
  • 29Lowe
  • 32Dawkins
Referee:
James Linington
Attendance:
16,180

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamDerby
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home18
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 2, Derby County 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 2, Derby County 3.

  3. Post update

    Joshua McEachran (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Craig Bryson (Derby County).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Gabriele Angella (Watford).

  6. Post update

    Jake Buxton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Marco Cassetti (Watford).

  8. Post update

    Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Essaïd Belkalem.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Essaïd Belkalem (Watford).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Essaïd Belkalem (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Conor Sammon (Derby County).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Essaïd Belkalem (Watford).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Watford 2, Derby County 3. Conor Sammon (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Will Hughes.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Watford. Gabriele Angella tries a through ball, but Marco Cassetti is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Conor Sammon (Derby County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Eustace.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Watford. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burnley129212271529
2QPR118301441027
3Leicester128221912726
4Nottm Forest126512012823
5Blackpool12651149523
6Reading126421911822
7Watford1263324141021
8Derby125342420418
9Bournemouth125251925-617
10Blackburn124351714315
11Ipswich124351816215
12Wigan104241411314
13Huddersfield123541412214
14Brighton123541112-114
15Leeds114251013-314
16Middlesbrough122641921-212
17Doncaster113351116-512
18Millwall123361425-1112
19Birmingham113171315-210
20Charlton11245914-510
21Bolton121651019-99
22Barnsley122281429-158
23Sheff Wed110741117-67
24Yeovil12138618-126
View full Championship table

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