Rams win piles pressure on Boro boss

Kris Commons produced two moments of magic as Derby beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at Pride Park to heap more pressure on Boro boss Gordon Strachan.

Last Updated: 28/09/10 at 22:15 Post Comment

Commons: Netted a brace for Derby

Commons: Netted a brace for Derby

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Boro took the lead in an entertaining Championship clash at Pride Park when Kris Boyd, restored to the starting line-up after being dropped for the previous two games, glanced in his second goal for the club.

But Derby responded and after Commons had a penalty saved by Jason Steele, they equalised just before half-time when Commons' corner was headed home by Shaun Barker.

Commons was the star of the show in the second half as he produced two classy finishes to give the Rams a second consecutive home victory which prompted County fans to taunt Strachan with chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning'.

Boro were caught napping at the weekend when Watford capitalised on a David Wheater mistake to score after just 17 seconds and the big centre-half should have redeemed himself after just five minutes tonight when he headed Barry Robson's corner wide.

Derby started to get into their stride and Steele did well to tip Robbie Savage's measured free-kick wide, then after Boro failed to clear the resulting corner Barker crossed for the unmarked Shefki Kuqi but the burly striker headed wide from eight yards out.

That miss was to prove costly when Boyd guided Robson's cross from the right into the far corner of the net with a fine glancing header after 19 minutes.

But the goal seemed to spur Derby into life and they should have been level three minutes later when Gary O'Neil's poor backpass was read by Kuqi and he nipped the ball past Steele, who clipped the on-loan striker and referee Craig Pawson had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

The usually reliable Commons stepped up casually and Steele made a comfortable save down to his right.

Alberto Bueno was denied by Steele after another defensive error from Boro and Wheater made a crucial tackle to deny Tomas Cywka, but Derby were deservedly level on the stroke of half-time.

Commons swung in a corner from the right and Barker rose highest with a towering header that looped inside the right-hand post.

The Rams were in front five minutes after the break courtesy of a moment of magic from Commons.

Savage, who was pulling the strings in the middle of the park, found the former Nottingham Forest man in space and he turned and picked his spot with a delightful left-foot finish into the far corner of the net from 20 yards out.

Commons was brimming with confidence and he gave the Rams some breathing space with another fine finish after 59 minutes, playing a one-two from a corner from the right then chipping into the far corner with a measured left-foot finish.

Boro almost pulled a goal back three minutes later but Stephen Bywater kept out Leroy Lita's close-range header with his legs.

Boyd should have pulled a goal back 15 minutes from time when he turned Barker but fired narrowly over the crossbar as Boro crashed to another away defeat.

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