- Johnny Russell drills in his first of the season in a dominant performance
- Alex Pearce's own goal doubled Rams' lead as they secured victory
- Kelle Roos keeps clean sheet on debut as Derby remain unbreached in this season's competition
Johnny Russell opened his goal scoring account for the season as Derby County comfortably beat Reading 2-0 at the iPro Stadium to secure their place in the hat for the Last-16 of the Capital One Cup.
After dominating for large periods of the first half, it took until the 67th minute for the Rams to open the scoring as Russell latched on to Martin’s flick and rifle a shot beyond Mikkel Anderson in the Royals’ goal.
Alex Pearce turned into his own net 15 minutes later from Martin’s cross as Derby continued to control the game to ensure they also remained unbreached in the competition so far.
Steve McClaren stayed true to his word ahead of kick-off and made as many as six changes for the visit of Reading.
Kelle Roos made his first competitive game for the Rams, whilst Ryan Shotton, Omar Mascarell, Johnny Russell, Jordon Ibe and Leon Best came into the side.
Nigel Adkins made seven changes of his own. Key players Glenn Murray and Oliver Norwood were cup tied whilst Hal Robson-Kanu came in for his first appearance of the season, whilst Aaron Kuhl, the son of former Ram Martin Kuhl, also came back into the side among five other changes.
Quick out of the blocks, Derby’s start to the contest was relentless as the forward line came forward wave after wave. Will Hughes was the first to try his luck from an angle, but his effort flew wide of the post on five minutes and only a lack of connection from a Craig Forsyth header prevented Mikkel Andersen from being tested.
Jordon Ibe picked up where he left off on Saturday and was quickly establishing himself as a menace to the Reading back line with his driving runs and endless pace adding another dimension to Derby’s attack.
The Rams continued to apply all the pressure and on 20 minutes, a neat combination of passes between Forsyth and Ibe led to the latter sliding a pass back to Craig Bryson, but the Scottish midfielder’s first time drive flew harmlessly wide of Andersen’s far post.
Leon Best tried a pot shot from range after a long ball forward bounced off the shoulder of Michael Hector, but the striker’s deflected effort was palmed away by Anderson, before the 28-year-old headed over from Bryson’s corner.
After weaving his way into the Reading penalty area following an exchange of passes with Mascarell, Hughes’ cut back was too thick and evaded everyone in the six-yard box, before he tried his own luck again after cutting inside on his left foot, but Anderson was equal to the tame strike.
Kelle Roos, though, was called into action on 36 minutes as he stood up well to deny Jamie Mackie a goal after Cyrus Christie had sent a wayward back pass to give the striker a clean run at goal.
Ryan Shotton nearly opened the scoring only two minutes later as he raced into the penalty area, unmarked, to head Russell’s corner from the right narrowly wide.
As the game entered injury time, Ryan Edwards picked up possession from a throw in on the left and sent a dipping volley towards Roos’ goal, but the 22-year-old Dutch debutant tipped the fierce shot over the bar in the last of the first half chances.
Six minutes after the interval and Derby continued to control the contest and only a great save from Andersen on to the ball denied Ibe his second goal in two games before Keogh came close to netting twice in the space of a minute from the resulting corner.
Russell bent an effort over the bar two minutes later as Derby’s knock on the door grew louder and louder, but in a rare bright spell for the visitors, Robson-Kanu was found in the box from a Chris Gunter cross, but the Welsh forward’s snap shot was well saved by Roos.
Back came down Derby and Best, from 25 yards, sent a low shot wide of Andersen’s post, before Jordan Obita replicated the striker’s effort for Reading at the other end after a break away from a Rams corner.
Derby finally got their reward for their dominance after 67 minutes as substitute Chris Martin flicked the ball into the path of Russell who beat two Reading defenders before lashing a low drive beyond Andersen for his first goal of the season.
Pogrebnyak tried to get Reading level almost instantly, but the Russian striker fired a long range effort over Roos’ bar, but after a period of no chances, Derby doubled their lead.
Ibe did the body work of the move as he waltzed away from three players on the left before finding Martin and exchanging passes fellow substitute Simon Dawkins, the forward turned a cross into the area that the wrong footed Alex Pearce turned into his own net on 82 minutes.
Russell tried to double his tally two minutes later after robbing possession back 25 yards from goal, but Andersen got down well to save the effort and only a late deflection denied Ibe the goal his performance richly deserved as Derby comfortably secured their place in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup for the first time since the 2008/09 campaign.
Derby County: Roos (GK), Christie, Keogh, Shotton, Forsyth, Mascarell, Hughes (Martin 63’), Bryson (Eustace 84’), Russell, Ibe, Best (Dawkins 75’)
Substitutes not used: Grant, L Naylor, Eustace, Whitbread, Calero
Reading: Andersen, Gunter (C), Obita, Pearce, Hector (Cooper 87’), Kuhl, Guthrie (Taylor 72’), Mackie, Edwards, Robson-Kanu (Cox 75’), Pogrebnyak
Substitutes not used: Lincoln, Long, Stacey, Blackman