Derby County returned to Pride Park Stadium to collect three points as they took control of Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening.
For the first time in almost 12 years, Derby claimed a home victory over Ipswich after second-half goals from Joe Ledley and Tom Lawrence.
Ledley came off the bench during the first-half to replace an injured George Evans and it was his strike from range at the hour mark that rewarded the Rams for their relentless hard-work.
Tom Lawrence sealed the win with his third league goal from four matches.
Derby began with high-tempo football, picking up where they left off in the second-half against Millwall. Within two minutes, Craig Bryson had a good look-in at goal after picking up a loose ball just inside the area. However, after quickly turning his shot went high.
Bryson was in the mix again shortly after. The Rams’ high-press paid off when Mason Mount darted in to collect an Ipswich pass. Having raced to the edge of the box, he found Bryson on the right who dinged a cross towards Nugent, bit it was slightly too powerful for the forward who raced to the far post.
Moments later, the Tractor Boys had their first look when Jon Nolan collected a short free-kick pass but his effort from range was wide.
George Evans, making his first league appearance for the Rams, left the match less than 30 minutes in after picking up a knock. Ledley replaced him in the midfield.
Derby’s best chance came with ten minutes to go in the half as Nugent, looking for his second league goal this term, fired just wide after Mason Bennett played through to him in the area.
Ipswich remained searching for a way into the game and called Scott Carson into action minutes before the break. However, it was an easy save for the stopper who dropped down on top of a low strike by Grant Ward.
The Rams continued to keep the pressure on to start the second-half, with Mount glancing an effort just wide. Jayden Bogle, making his league debut at home, skirted around the edge of the box before sending a clever through-ball to the young midfielder.
At the hour mark, Ledley magnificently put the Rams ahead with a lovely strike from range. Mount sent the ball into the box from the corner and it was deflected to the Welsh midfielder who was waiting outside the box. After a quick adjustment on his feet, Ledley confidently struck home.
The lead did nothing to hamper the Rams’ fight and within eight minutes, the lead was doubled. Lawrence was pulled down just outside the area and elected to take the free-kick himself.
It curled perfectly across the goal and Bartosz Bialkowski initially got his hand to it. However, the power of the strike sent it past into the top right corner.
Florian Jozefzoon, having replaced Bennett not long before, showed off his skill in right of the area with his quick feet dancing around his defender. He chipped a pass over to Mount but the he couldn’t get a shot off from the awkward angle.
Straight down the other end, Ipswich was still looking for an answer. Jordan Roberts battled with Bogle down the right flank and managed to get a weak cross off which Carson read well and jumped in to clear the threat.
With just a few minutes remaining, Kayden Jackson had a go from just inside the area which flew straight into Carson’s arms. He kept the clean sheet as the Rams returned to winning ways in the Championship.
Tom Lawrence has had a terrific start to the season, grabbing his third goal in four league matches against Ipswich. He has already proven himself to be lethal from set-pieces and once again put his skills on display.
The Rams will be back at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday to face Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship, kick-off: 3pm.
They will then make two trips to KCOM Stadium in a space of four days as Derby meet Hull City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday before returning to league play on Saturday.
Derby County: Carson; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Forsyth; Bryson, Mount, Evans (Ledley 26); Bennett (Jozefzoon 69), Nugent (Marriott 77), Lawrence
Unused substitutes: Roos, Wisdom, Waghorn, Lowe,
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Donacien, Nsiala, Chambers (C) Knudsen; Ward, Skuse (Downes 55), Chablobah, Edwards (Roberts 75), Nolan; Harrison (Jackson 64)
Unused substitutes: Gerken, Spence, Sears, Kenlock