Yesterday the Rams recorded a sixth straight victory to move within just three points of the automatic promotion spaces.
Chris Powell’s Charlton Athletic side were defeated 2-0 on their own path as supporters purred in the club’s ‘Thunderbirds away day’.
Tom Few was at The Valley and has sent in his player-by-player verdicts.
Lee Grant: 7 Made fine saves when called upon and was sure when making claims. He had little to deal with throughout.
Andre Wisdom: 8 An all-round solid performance and read the game perfectly. Played the ball to suite the play at the time and positioning was superb.
Richard Keogh: 6 Started steady and was able to break up play easily. Held the offside line well, but was opened up to allow Charlton their best effort at an equaliser from a back post header.
Jaxe Buxton: 7 Won most, if not all, aerial battles but did to many hopefully long balls which went into the stands.
Craig Foryth: 7 Looked dangerous on the attack and put some great whipped in balls into the box. At times he went for too optimistic passes when there was better options available. Sound defensively.
John Eustace: 6 A whole host of misplaced passes and was in and out of the game with little impact. However, made some key tackles when needed.
Simon Dawkins: 7 Was able to pick at gaps in the Charlton back 4, whilst also linking up well Wisdom. Used his pace to his advantage but provided little cover defensively.
Jeff Hendrick: 7 Had a well fought game in midfield and was consistent throughout. Played a simple, honest game and showed no signs of previous injury.
Craig Bryson: 7 Took a while to get into the game after a slow start, but once hw got going in the second half he was the catalyst for the Rams, managing to keep the ball flowing whilst covering a lot of ground. Finished the game off will a well-deserved chip over the keeper.
Jamie Ward: 6 Drifted in and out of the game, although he managed to provide sufficient cover for Forsyth and create some chances. Was lucky to score a deflected goal, but unlucky to hit the bar.
Chris Martin: 7 Held up play well and allowed the midfield to join the attacks. Won most headers up to him and created space through clever movement. Managed to do the most outrageous dive to date, after going down like he had been shot to being up in seconds.
Jonny Russell (74’): 6 Caused problems for Charlton when he came on, but like Ward, failed to have a constant impact.
Conor Sammon (85’): 7 Came on and lifted the team spirit through some clever link up play. Shortly after coming on did a delightful ball to assist Bryson.
Michael Keane (88’): 5 Had little impact on the game due to the lack of playing time.
The fans: 8 The third highest away attendance in the Championship this weekend, managing to take over 1,800 to The Valley. Introduced a relatively new and catchy tune throughout the game (Since I was young…) and managed to get the away end rocking regardless of the lack of noise from the home faithful. Sam Rush and John Vicars were also present and were happy to answer any questions and have a chat (even give me a box of biscuits), showed they were willing to maintain a good link with the heart of the club, the fans.
Thanks very much, Tom. It was clearly another successful day on the road and, looking at the festive period fixtures, there’s a chance to close the gap and even reach top of the table. But, it’s the Championship, there’s no room for complacency.
You can be forgiven for looking at the table more than once, I have!