Derby County 3-2 Burton Albion – Conor Hourihane’s stoppage-time winner sends Rams third

Conor Hourihane (left) celebrates his winning goal for Derby against Burton
Conor Hourihane (left) celebrates his winning goal for Derby against Burton

Captain Conor Hourihane’s injury-time winner sent Derby County up to third in the League One table and inflicted a harsh defeat on Burton Albion in Martin Paterson’s first game in charge.

Tom Barkhuizen had put the Rams ahead with a sliding first-half finish after Burton goalkeeper Max Crocombe made a excellent double save moments earlier.

James Collins doubled Derby’s advantage with a header immediately after the break, only for Steve Seddon to find the bottom corner with an superb response four minutes later.

Manchester United loanee Joe Hugill came off the bench to level on his Burton debut, but Derby’s relentless search for a winner ended with Hourihane sending Pride Park into rapture on a freezing East Midlands night.

A win by two goals or more would have sent the Rams up to second, but a clinical second half from the Brewers – under a rookie manager in only his fifth day on the job – denied them the chance.

Derby heaped relentless first-half pressure on their near neighbours from east Staffordshire, and sent two early opportunities over the bar, with Hourihane and Curtis Nelson both off target.

While Crocombe made a excellent double save to deny both Mendez-Laing and Callum Elder midway through the half, Barkhuizen gave the Rams a deserved lead on 29 minutes.

The midfielder showed great strength to hold off a defender and slide the ball home at the back post after Mendez-Laing whipped a perfectly weighted low ball across the face of goal.

Collins’ close-range header for his 17th goal of the season had Derby closing in on the automatic promotion places, but with Burton’s first shot on target Seddon had Paterson’s Brewers back in the game and Derby rattled.

Seddon then provided the decisive pass to set Hugill free to level, marking a momentous night for himself and his new boss.

But it was not enough to earn Burton the point their hard work warranted.

After Barkhuizen had an effort deflected wide and Collins sliced a shot off target, Hourihane eventually delivered the winner with a volleyed effort from the edge of the box after Burton failed to clear the danger.

Burton remain in 19th place, five points and two places above the relegation zone.

Line-ups

Derby

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 31Vickers
  • 2Wilson
  • 35Nelson
  • 6Cashin
  • 20ElderSubstituted forSibleyat 72′minutes
  • 11Méndez-Laing
  • 8Bird
  • 4Hourihane
  • 7BarkhuizenSubstituted forBradleyat 90+4′minutes
  • 19John-JulesSubstituted forThompsonat 86′minutes
  • 9Collins

Substitutes

  • 1Wildsmith
  • 5Bradley
  • 16Thompson
  • 17Sibley
  • 22Fornah
  • 23Ward
  • 39Brown

Burton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Crocombe
  • 12Moon
  • 2Brayford
  • 6Sweeney
  • 22Caprice
  • 7Powell
  • 4OshilajaBooked at 64mins
  • 3SeddonSubstituted forCarayolat 80′minutes
  • 11BennettSubstituted forHugillat 62′minutes
  • 25GilliganSubstituted forHelmat 62′minutes
  • 15LubalaSubstituted forHarperat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Harper
  • 17Helm
  • 21Carayol
  • 30Blackman
  • 38Scott
  • 40Tamen
  • 44Hugill

Referee:
Ben Toner

Attendance:
25,580

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