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Derby County made it three wins from three as Colin Kazim-Richards’ late winner at the bet365 Stadium secured all three points for Wayne Rooney’s side.

The striker, on as a second half substitute, was played through on goal and made no mistake from 12 yards as the Rams secured their third victory in as many games.

Luke Plange had given Derby a deserved first half lead as he found the corner following a through ball from Kamil Jozwiak.

The Rams looked good value for their lead as the home side struggled to create chances, but they did manage to equalise against the run of play with just 12 minutes of the game remaining.

But, Kazim-Richards proved to be the matchwinner as Derby secured their first victory on the road since August to move on to double figures in the Sky Bet Championship table.

The Rams took the lead in the first half through Luke Plange’s second professional goal in only his third game as he finished well into the corner to give Derby a deserved lead.

Rooney welcomed back three of his more experienced players as skipper Tom Lawrence, Phil Jagielka and Kamil Jozwiak returned to the starting 11.

And the Rams started brightly against the Potters and went close in the opening 10 seconds of the game.

Whether it was intentional or not only Liam Thompson will know, but he volleyed from 40 yards and with Stoke goalkeeper Adam Davies scrambling, the ball hit the roof of the goal and out for a goal kick.

It was Derby who was taking the game to their hosts in a fast-paced opening as the Rams eyed early blood.

The returning Jozwiak almost profited from a hooked ball into the box but he strayed slightly too early and was adjudged offside.

But the Rams’ early pressure did pay off in the 16th minute as they took a deserved lead.

As Lawrence was upended 40 yards from goal, the referee played a good advantage allowing play to continue as Derby attacked.

Jozwiak took over possession and threaded a neat through ball through to the onrushing Plange who finished confidently into the corner to put Rooney’s side a goal to the good.

It was only the striker’s second goal in his third professional game as the Rams continued on the front foot and controlled the majority of possession.

Midfielder Liam Thompson was a livewire in the Rams’ midfield, whilst Max Bird and Jason Knight kept Derby ticking going forward.

Stoke’s only real effort on goal in the first half came with 10 minutes of the half remaining as Tyreese Campbell capitalised on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area.

He found Josh Tymon on the right-hand side who let fly from 20 yards but the ball flew comfortably past Ryan Allsop’s goal.

The Rams went into the half time interval with a deserved lead, but the hosts did up the pressure early in the second half.

Stoke felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty as the ball hit Jagielka’s arm which were by his side, but they struggled to create clear cut chances.

Derby almost created a second goal of the night just before the hour mark. It all came from good work at the back as the Rams played through the lines and created the opening.

The ball was played to Craig Forsyth on the left, he found Knight inside who backheeled into the path of Lawrence to strike but he hit his effort off target.

Rooney made a double change just after the hour mark as Colin Kazim-Richards and Festy Ebosele was introduced, with the pair adding pace and strength to the Rams’ attack.

And Ebosele almost profited straight away as he raced into the penalty area but he was just tackled at the last as he attempted to get his shot away.

Despite the home side needing a goal, it was Derby who looked the most likely to get the second goal of the game as Knight and Ebosele both went close in quick succession.

An aimless ball into the box was stabbed wide by the onrushing Knight, whilst Ebosele created a chance for himself but shot wide on the angle with his left foot.

And the Rams would rue those missed opportunities just minutes later as Stoke found the equaliser completely against the run of play.

A corner into the box was not cleared by Derby and Ince pounced on the loose ball to fire home from 12 yards.

But, Derby did not waver in their pursuit of a second goal. Ebosele crossed for Knight but his powerful header was stopped by Davies in the Stoke goal.

All the pressure was coming from the Rams and they were rewarded with the winning goal five minutes from time as Kazim-Richards scored his second goal in as many games.

It was good work from substitute Ravel Morrison to set up the goal. He capitalised on a loose pass and drove at the defence. He had three defenders around him but he managed to find Kazim-Richards on the right.

The striker still had a lot to do, however. He cut back inside on his left foot and finished confidently past Davies to secure Derby’s third consecutive victory.

Stoke City: Davies, Smith, Fox (Ince 71’), Allen (C), Batth, Clucas (Surridge 88’), Vrancic, Campbell, Tymon, Wilmot, Brown (Fletcher 55’).

Substitutes: Bonham, Chester, Doughty, Wright-Phillips.

Derby County: Allsop, Byrne, Forsyth, Jagielka, Jozwiak (Ebosele 63’), Bird, Lawrence (C) (Morrison 79’), Davies Thompson, Plange (Kazim-Richards 63’).

Substitutes: Roos, Baldock, Stearman, Williams.

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