Derby put in a good performance to come from behind and win against Barnsley, ending their seven match winless run.
The away side started the better of the two sides and had the first good opportunity. After a period of sustained pressure, Barnsley forward Tom Bradshaw found his strike partner Adam Armstrong who’s shot across goal went narrowly wide. The Tykes continued to control play and had a number of set pieces in the first 25 minutes but couldn’t score.
From a Derby point of view, much of the build up was focused on the change in system. The Rams started with a 4-2-3-1 and after a nervous opening quarter of the game, they managed to get to grips with the new approach as they had a dominant spell in which they came close a few times. First, after some good play by Johnny Russell on the right, Tom Ince’s attempt to curl a shot in at the back post, drifted just over the crossbar. After Julien de Sart forced Adam Davies into his first save, just before the break, Matej Vydra struck a free kick centimetres over Davies’ goal.
After the break, Steve McClaren made a change, replacing the injured Julien de Sart with Jacob Butterfield. The change helped the Rams to continue their dominance but against the run of play, they fell behind. Barnsley captain Marc Roberts launched a throw in into the box which found the head of Matty James who sent the ball past Scott Carson and into the back of the net. Not only was the goal James’ first since signing on loan from Leicester, it was his first in over three years.
Derby responded well and less than two minutes later, they were level. Cyrus Christie sent a ball into the box which eventually fell to Tom Ince who shot past Davies to equalise. The goal made Ince the Rams’ top scorer with 13 goals in all competitions.
Derby have never lost in the 28 games in which Ince has scored, this was a good omen for the Rams who pressed for the winner. Ince saw a free kick well saved before from almost the same position, Johnny Russell’s effort was pushed over by Davies. Ince again came close when his shot was saved onto the post by Davies who was in inspired form to keep his side level.
Then, after 20 minutes of constant pressure, Derby took the lead. After the Barnsley defence failed to clear, Vydra found David Nugent who’s shot took a deflection, sending the ball into the bottom corner. The goal was Nugent’s first for the Rams in what was only his second start since signing from Middlesbrough.
Derby had a number of good chances to seal it. Ince hit a rasping shot which was headed over by Bradley Johnson. Christie then got onto the end of a corner but his shot was cleared off the line. Next, after some good play down the left, substitute Will Hughes struck towards goal but again Davies was on hand to save.
Barnsley keeper Adam Davies’ efforts were nearly rewarded when in added time, a free kick was lumped into the box, the ball fell to Ryan Kent. Kent’s attempt was straight at Derby stopper Carson who pushed the ball away before Ikechi Anya cleared.
The Rams held on to win and end a seven match winless run. The win was 100 percent deserved, the new formation made a big effect, the only negative was that we couldn’t score more. A big three points though, next up for the Rams is Preston on Tuesday night, again at Pride Park.
Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson speaks post match:
Derby boss Steve McClaren speaks post match: