Chris Martin bagged all three goals for the Rams, boosted by the arrival of George Thorne.
Unfortunately Thorne didn’t play today but that was not a problem considering the long saga we endured!
The rain poured down in the first period, the players must have been soaked.
In terms of the midfield, Steve McClaren opted to play Will Hughes in the ‘George Thorne role’, with Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson in their usual roles. What a wonderful bunch of players to choose from in midfield the Rams have this season.
The first-half was a comfortable period for Derby with the ball, though at times they did get caught out doing too much and tried to frustrate Notts County by retaining the ball in the opponents’ final third.
It was the Magpies that broke the deadlock with around half an hour played. A trialist, named on the tannoy simply as ‘number 10’, caught Richard Keogh out and stole the ball, followed by a firm shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Derby responded prior to half-time through a neat Chris Martin finish, created by Johnny Russell, who confused the Notts backline with his pass.
In the second-half, the away side’s superiority was more on display.
A penalty was won by Simon Dawkins, who appeared to have been tripped up, though it did look soft from where I was sitting, early on in the second 45. Martin stepped up and scored.
Much credit is owed to Jeff Hendrick for the last goal. The Irishman won the ball, charged down the right side and slotted the boll straight to Martin, who made no mistake with an unbeatable shot into the top corner.
The match was a first chance to see new signing Cyrus Christie in action. Playing alongside his former Coventry team mate Richard Keogh, he looked sharp going forward and on the ball. In what was probably his first real piece of action of the game, Christie bombed forward down the right hand side and handed the ball to Chris Martin on a plate, only for the striker to make a mess of it.
Towards the end of the match, when Derby were swapping and changing with the available subs, Martin played in midfield and didn’t look too out of place, however, I’m sure he’ll be happy to leave the midfield to Bryson and co!
Also, I saw Kelle Roos in goal for the first time. Although he wasn’t really tested, he dealt with everything that came his way – collecting loose balls, being switched on to come out of goal and distributing forward. The Notts goal was beyond his reach.
Jeff Hendrick looked especially sharp in midfield and would probably be regarded as the Rams’ man of the match. He did have chances on goal of his own, but his best contribution came for the third and final goal.
Late on in the second period, a trialist appeared in the shape of defender Allasane Toure from France’s RC Lens club. Is he a relation to Ya Ya Toure? Anyway, he slotted in at right-back and wasn’t afraid to put in a tackle or two and, notably, he took a huge swing at a loose ball and completely missed it!
We didn’t get to see the new Spanish signing Ivan Calero in action today. It seems he’ll be playing in the development squad. I did think that he was playing when Jamie Hanson came on, an easy mistake to make when you’re sat high up, right?
I think somebody failed to tell Jake Buxton that it was a pre-season friendly. He went in with full commitment to many tackles and wasn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Exactly what you’d expect from Bucko. Keogh, especially, made some defensive slip-ups – he won’t want to make it a habit. Both he and Buxton did have a bit of a handful with the big number 9 trialist for the hosts in the first-half.
All in all, it was a good, friendly pre-season match between two mutual haters of Nottingham Forest!