Derby County secured their third straight away victory for the first time since the 2008/09 campaign, as goals from Johnny Russell, Craig Bryson and Chris Martin completed a 3-0 win over Yeovil Town.
Russell’s superb curling finish in the 42nd minute was followed by a beautifully crafted goal from Bryson, that arrived after fluid spell of possession that appeared to last an eternity.
Striker Martin added a third in the second half when he reacted quickest to turn in Wayne Hennessey’s save from Jamie Ward, as the Rams cruised to victory over the Glovers.
As the teams emerged from the tunnel at Husih Park, they were greeted by an onslaught of pyrotechnics, and the Rams’ players matched the entertaining display with an exuberant opening.
Inside the first four minutes Nigel Clough’s men could have found themselves two goals ahead with Bryson turning well on the edge of the penalty before curling a shot over the crossbar, prior to Russell hammering a 20-yard drive narrowly wide.
Although Yeovil midfielder Ed Upson had a brief sight of goal in the seventh minute, the Rams were dominant and proactive with their possession, creating numerous goalscoring opportunities in what was a bright start from the visitors.
Republic of Ireland international Jeff Hendrick sent a 25-yard strike over the crossbar, whilst Russell’s low cut-back from the right was turned wide by strike-partner Martin in a first half-an-hour that was predominantly controlled by the Rams.
Jamie Ward then arrowed a 30-yard free-kick over the crossbar, before Derby’s fluent attacking display was finally rewarded in the 41st minute when Keogh’s inch-perfect through ball was collected by Russell who dinked the ball over Hennessey into the far corner.
Russell’s exquisite finish was followed by a sublime team goal that culminated following an extensive spell of possession. A minute before half-time, Russell found Martin on the edge of the box; the striker looked for a return, but was beaten to it by an onrushing Bryson who curled the ball beyond Hennessey.
Ward, who was given the license to roam freely in a role behind Martin and Russell, nearly added a third moments later when he picked up Will Hughes’ intricate pass inside the penalty area, but the 27-year-old’s low strike was superbly kept out buy the Yeovil shot-stopper.
Glovers boss Gary Johnson implemented two changes at the break, with last season’s top-scorer Paddy Madden and recent loan signing Andrew Williams thrown into the action, but despite their inclusion, Derby continued to govern proceedings.
And the Rams’ supremacy on the field was rewarded 13 minutes into the second-half when Ward’s swerving shot was beaten away by Hennessey into the path of Martin, who rolled the ball into the net for his third goal of the season.
In the 63rd minute, in a swift counter attacking move, Ward was denied Derby’s fourth of the afternoon by an outstretched arm of the Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee, before Lee Grant matched the Yeovil goalkeeper’s reactions, with a terrific save to thwart Liam Davies’ pinpoint strike.
Clough introduced Paul Coutts, John Eustace and Conor Sammon to retain an attacking threat as well as to ensure the Rams kept the lion's share of possession, and there proved to be no way back from Martin's third and Derby's superb performance on the road.
Derby County: Grant (GK); Freeman, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Bryson, Hughes, Hendrick (Eustace 63’), Ward (Coutts 70’), Russell (Sammon 80’), Martin.
Subs not used: Legzdins (GK), Smith, Jacobs, Davies.
Yeovil Town: Hennessey (GK); Ayling, Webster, Seaborne, Tate (Williams 46’); Dawson, Edwards, Upson, Ralls (Grant 82’), Davis; Ngoo (Madden 46’).
Subs not used: Dunn (GK), McAllister, Hoskins, Hayter.