Derby lifted by Martin double

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:38

Derby lifted by Martin double

Although mid-table Reading dominated large periods of the game, Derby gave them a lesson in finishing. Chris Martin nudged them ahead early on and Jordon Ibe added a second before half time.
Martin then took his tally for the season to nine goals when he struck again in the 79th minute to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games.
Derby had previously shown fine form, suffering only one defeat in their opening 14 matches in all competitions – a 3-2 loss at Charlton Athletic in August.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins was a firm admirer, describing Derby as the “best team in the league” in the pre-match build-up. It was Reading, though, who had the better of the opening exchanges.
Although the Royals were without a win in five matches, in league and cup, they probed intelligently and forced the Derby defence into a number of hasty clearances.
Simon Cox nodded just over from a teasing Hal Robson-Kanu cross and Oliver Norwood also scooped a shot too high, but Derby comfortably soaked up the pressure and went ahead in the 18th minute from their first effort on target.
Jamie Ward sent over a corner from the right and Martin rose alone to nod in his eighth goal of the season via the body of Robson-Kanu, who was standing on the goalline. Slack marking at the back had cost Reading dearly.
But they responded positively, with Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant saving well from a long-range Jake Taylor effort. Grant got lucky when he lost grip of the ball and it rebounded off Robson-Kanu straight back into his grasp.
Reading went even closer when Glenn Murray headed against the crossbar, from a Norwood corner, but Derby were quick to take advantage of their good fortune when they stretched their lead in the 38th minute.
Ibe, the on-loan winger from Liverpool, waltzed into the Reading area and was allowed to place a precise shot past home goalkeeper Adam Federici. It was Ibe’s second goal for the club.
Derby went in search of further goals in the second half, with Martin again to the fore. Federici saved smartly from a piledriver from Martin, who blazed high over the bar shortly after following a goalmouth scramble.
Reading attempted to get back into it but, against a Derby defence that had not conceded a goal in their previous four matches, it was tough going.
Murray headed over from a Jordan Obita cross and, after Grant had saved superbly from a fierce Nick Blackman effort, substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak missed the sitter of a rebound.
Derby held firm and increased their lead in the 79th minute, when Martin jockeyed his markers on the edge of the home area before guiding a low shot past Federici.
It capped an easy if slightly flattering win for Derby.

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