Championship
DerbyDerby County2FulhamFulham0
Derby open the scoring against Fulham at the iPro Stadium
Tim Ream's own goal gave Derby the lead as Fulham were having their best spell in the match

Derby County moved to the top of the Championship table as Tim Ream's unfortunate own goal set them on their way to victory over Fulham.

Johnny Russell was the source of the second-half opener when his cross created confusion in the penalty box and found the net via centre-half Ream.

And Jacob Butterfield's cool late strike sealed the win late on.

The result ensures the hosts go a point clear of Middlesbrough, whose game at Blackburn was postponed.

Derby, unbeaten in seven games and chasing a third consecutive league victory, posed the greater danger before the break, playing with greater urgency and more cohesion.

But they were unable to create many clear openings against a Fulham side who have now gone nine games without a win.

Ince, who grabbed a hat-trick in the thumping win over Bristol City, was the most likely creator, dinking a great chance over the bar and also failing to connect with a long-range strike.

Although Fulham, who remain 18th but are now just three points above the relegation places, had less of the ball, the excellent Alex Kacaniklic twice forced saves from keeper Lee Grant.

Just as the visitors began to settle after the interval, Derby went ahead when Russell beat two men and his pull-back was turned in to his own net by Ream.

Both sides had chances after that with Russell opting to try to find Chris Martin when through on goal and Butterfield blasting an effort off target.

Ross McCormack had the London side's best opportunity but, after showing some neat skills on the edge of the box, he shot narrowly wide.

With the game increasingly open, Derby made the points safe when Butterfield exchanged passes with Martin and just managed to beat keeper Andy Lonergan.

Substitute Darren Bent almost made it 3-0 in injury time but his strike hit the bar.

Derby boss Paul Clement:

"(Derby's) 47 points is an impressive total, particularly after the start we had. Maybe we have surprised ourselves. I have to be very pleased with that tally.

"But on today's game I did not think we played well. They frustrated us and we did not have the rhythm, tempo or fluidity we have seen.

"I wanted them to do the things I asked them to do before the game. One of those was using the width of the pitch."

Fulham senior coach Stuart Gray:

"The disappointing thing is I said at half-time, it's not as if Derby are cutting us up. It was all self-inflicted by us giving the ball away.

"And we had two or three chances to get our noses in front. To concede the goal as we did was poor defending.

"It was the story of our life with a double deflection. We then had to chase the game and Derby are one of the best counter-attacking sides.

"I said to the players, 'you cannot use that (manager uncertainty) as an excuse' and they won't do. You cannot fault the commitment of the players at the moment."

Tom Ince shoots over for Derby
Tom Ince had Derby's best two chances before the break but fired over when through on goal with his second opportunity
Derby head coach Paul Clement
Paul Clement's Derby side are now unbeaten in seven

Line-ups

Derby

  • 1Grant
  • 2Christie
  • 6KeoghBooked at 38mins
  • 14Shackell
  • 37Warnock
  • 18Butterfield
  • 34ThorneSubstituted forHendrickat 83'minutes
  • 15Johnson
  • 23Ince
  • 9MartinSubstituted forBentat 87'minutes
  • 11RussellSubstituted forWeimannat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Hendrick
  • 10Bent
  • 12Baird
  • 16Pearce
  • 24Weimann
  • 32Shotton
  • 35Mitchell

Fulham

  • 24Lonergan
  • 7Fredericks
  • 5StearmanBooked at 22mins
  • 33Burn
  • 13Ream
  • 11KacaniklicSubstituted forChristensenat 78'minutes
  • 23O'HaraSubstituted forSmithat 63'minutes
  • 28HyndmanSubstituted forCairneyat 71'minutes
  • 3Garbutt
  • 44McCormack
  • 25Dembele

Substitutes

  • 4Hutchinson
  • 9Smith
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Lewis
  • 16Woodrow
  • 18Pringle
  • 21Christensen
Referee:
Scott Duncan
Attendance:
32,134

Match Stats

Home TeamDerbyAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home19
Away11
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Derby County 2, Fulham 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Derby County 2, Fulham 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Darren Bent (Derby County) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Darren Bent (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Ince.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Derby County. Tom Ince tries a through ball, but Andreas Weimann is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jacob Butterfield.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luke Garbutt (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Moussa Dembele.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Darren Bent replaces Chris Martin.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Martin (Derby County) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cyrus Christie with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jacob Butterfield (Derby County) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Derby County 2, Fulham 0. Jacob Butterfield (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Martin.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).

  13. Post update

    Richard Stearman (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Jeff Hendrick replaces George Thorne.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Andreas Weimann replaces Johnny Russell.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ross McCormack with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Lee Grant.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Luke Garbutt (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross McCormack.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Lasse Vigen Christensen replaces Alexander Kacaniklic.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cyrus Christie (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Ince.