Today was about remembrance. Remembering our fallen heroes, the men and women that fought for our nation, our families and King and Queen in the Great War that got underway 100 years ago this year.
In the pouring rain, Derby County produced a master class as they beat Wolves 5-0 in front of their highest attendance of the season so far to send out their biggest signal of intent.
Jeff Hendrick and Johnny Russell both recorded braces after Ryan Shotton opened the scoring to give the Rams the biggest victory of the season as well as their most enthralling.
With only one change to the squad that beat Huddersfield Town in midweek, Simon Dawkins returned to the starting 11 as two sides from the division’s top six prepared to lock horns.
In the pouring Derbyshire rain, Derby started well – controlling the tempo and spreading the ball across the park – and they carved out the first notable chance in the opening 10 minutes.
After Will Hughes had been upended, Omar Mascarell whipped a free kick into the six-yard box that was headed over the top of Carl Ikeme’s bar by Ryan Shotton.
Five minutes later and two combined again as the Rams were presented with a free kick after Simon Dawkins had been dragged down midway inside the Wolves half.
Mascarell put the ball down and whipped the ball in and Shotton again rose highest to head the ball, but although Ikeme got across his goal well to get a hand to the ball, off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.
The visitors looked for a quick response as Sako shot over first time over Jack Butland’s bar from James Henry’s low corner.
Despite the game being evenly contested, Wolves should have equalised on 24 minutes as Sam Ricketts escaped down the left and slid a ball across the centre of the 18-yard box. George Saville, the Chelsea loanee, was the grateful recipient of the pass, but struck his first effort wide of Butland’s right hand post.
Sako tried his luck two minutes later after Wolves had seized on a stray Forsyth pass, but his long-range effort flew narrowly wide, before Derby made the Jackett’s side pay for not taking their chances on 28 minutes.
After pressing high up the pitch, Derby won the ball back midway inside the Wolves half and Jeff Hendrick collected a pass 25-yards, turned, and drilled a low shot beyond the outstretched fingers of Ikeme and into the back of the net.
Wolves enjoyed a heavy spell of possession after the Rams doubled their lead, but as the game ticked down to half time, Derby continued to look the most likely to add their tally.
Johnny Russell collected a pass from Will Hughes on the edge of the area and his effort took a big deflection off the trailing leg of a defender, before looping over, before the Rams added a third from the subsequent corner.
Derby continued to pour forward in a relentless manner and Chris Martin fired over a late free kick as the Rams finished how first half how they started it.
The second half continued in the same vain as Derby showed great energy, movement and tenacity going forward.
Mascarell’s drag back had the crowd on their feet – a move that led to Simon Dawkins having an effort deflected over the bar – as Derby took the early second half initiative.
Pouring forward once more, Derby added their fourth on 53 minutes as Hughes slipped a pass into Hendrick and the Republic of Ireland midfielder, composed, swept an effort to left of Ikeme to double his own tally for the afternoon.
Wolves did not stop persisting in their own efforts to get on the score sheet as Leon Clarke had an effort deflected on to the foot of Butland’s post and Kevin McDonald fired over from the consequent corner.
Back came the Rams, though, and they added a fifth on 59 minutes as Forsyth made head way down the left and delivered a teasing ball into the six-yard area for Russell to slam beyond Ikeme for the home side’s fifth of the afternoon.
Seven minutes after the hour mark, Wolves introduced Liam McAlinden and the substitute wriggled away on the left before firing an effort at Butland’s goal, but the ‘keeper was equal to the effort and palmed it away for a corner.
Butland, again, was alert to keep out Saville’s low drive on 72 minutes as Jackett’s side continued to create openings and McAlinden headed over with just under 10 minutes remaining.
There was still time for substitute Paul Coutts and Cyrus Christie to add further gloss to the score line. First, Coutts curled an effort that Ikeme beat away, before Christie blasted over as Derby recorded their biggest victory of the season so far, on today of all days.
Derby County: Butland, Christie, Keogh (C), Shotton, Forsyth, Mascarell (Coutts, 90), Hughes, Hendrick, Dawkins (Ibe, 74), Russell (Calero, 83), Martin
Substitutes not used: Roos, Buxton, Eustace, Best
Wolves: Ikeme; Doherty, Batth, Ebanks-Landell (Stearman, 45), Ricketts (c); McDonald, Evans (Rowe, 74), Henry, Saville, Sako; Clarke (McAlinden, 67)
Substitutes not used: Kuszczak, van La Parra, Jacobs, Dicko