Derby County bowed out of the FA Cup at the Fifth Round after a 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
First-half goals from Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia gave the in-control Premier League side the lead before a spirited second-half performance saw the Rams fight back for a comeback.
Ashley Cole, in just his second appearance for the Rams, powered a header in from Florian Jozefzoon’s assist with ten minutes to go. Despite holding the most FA Cup winners' medals of any player with seven, that was Cole's first FA Cup goal.
Derby gave a valiant effort, but were unable to find an equaliser.
Frank Lampard’s first FA Cup journey as a manager came to an end on the South Coast after victories over Southampton and Accrington Stanley.
It was a steady opening ten minutes from both sides as the teams settled into the early kick-off meeting until a free-kick on 12 minutes for the home side kick-started their attack while the visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Knockaert curled his free-kick effort from 25-yards on target but Kelle Roos tipped it over. The Rams stopper was called into action again ten minutes later to deny another free-kick effort. This time Yves Bissouma swept a low shot towards the bottom right corner which Roos dived to keep out.
With Derby failing to create opportunities up-front, the Rams’ ‘keeper kept them in the game down the other end, saving a curling shot by the threatening wideman Knockaert.
Brighton’s winger then broke the deadlock with just more than ten minutes left in the half after Bissouma did well down the right to whip a cross into the box which Knockaert latched onto.
The Rams’ first chance came moments before the break when Harry Wilson’s deep free-kick eventually found Martyn Waghorn at post but his close-range effort was saved by David Button.
Straight down the other end Brighton doubled their lead when Bissouma struck the post, sending Roos diving to the left and giving Locadia an open goal to slot into.
The addition of Jack Marriott and Ashley Cole after the break made an impact as the Rams came out lively and pushing to find a way to force themselves back in the game with Wilson striking from inside the area only to have his effort blocked by Shane Duffy.
Roos provided back-to-back brilliant saves to prevent Brighton extending the lead. The first, a dive to deny Knockaert again before a superb instinctive block to deny a close-range over-head kick by Bernardo.
With nine minutes remaining Cole pulled one back for the Rams when he powered in a header past Button. Florian Jozefzoon did excellently to break into the box and feed out to the full-back before Jozefzoon was brought down.
The Rams pushed for a leveller as they gained control of the game with another rifling shot by Wilson getting blocked. However they weren’t able to find it and the Rams bowed out of the Cup at the Fifth Round.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Button; Bruno (C), Duffy, Burn, Bernardo; Bissouma (Gross, 85), Kayal, Stephens; Knockaert, Locadia (Gyokeres, 80), Jahanbakhsh
Unused Subs: Sanchez, Bong, Montoya, Molumby, Ostigard
Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Malone (Cole, 45); Bryson, Huddlestone, Wilson; Waghorn, Nugent (Jozefzoon, 73), Holmes (Marriott, 45)
Unused Subs: Ravas, Wisdom, Johnson, Evans