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An incredible performance from Derby County saw them fight back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Oxford United on Friday evening in Sky Bet League One.

Goals from Craig Forsyth just before half-time and Liam Thompson and Eiran Cashin in the final ten minutes completed the turnaround after a double from Cameron Brannagan inside the opening 15 minutes saw the hosts take an early two goal lead.

The result means the Rams end 2023 in fine form and go into 2024 with eight wins and one draw in their last nine games in League One.

Key Moments

The teams changed ends to start the game just like they did away at Wigan a few days prior but the start was polar opposite to that of the one in Greater Manchester from a Derby perspective.

Within the opening minute Paul Warne's men were facing an uphill task when Joe Wildsmith rushed out of his box and clattered Mark Harris, who was racing through on goal, for an early penalty.

Wildsmith was shown a yellow card for the challenge before Brannagan stepped up to take the spot-kick and cooly sent him the wrong way to put the hosts in front.

The Rams needed to respond and did so with a sustained period of pressure soon afterwards.

A flurry of corners followed with the last of those nearly resulting in a goal but Max Bird's effort was brilliantly saved down low by James Beadle in the Oxford sticks.

But it was the hosts that doubled their lead with just 13 minutes on the clock and it was Brannagan again, this time direct from a free-kick.

The former Liverpool man stepped up from around 20-yards out and fired a rocket beyond Wildsmith to give the Rams a mountain to climb.

Brannagan had another dangerous free-kick before 30 minutes had been played but this time his drilled effort was well held by Wildsmith.

The Rams were inches away from halving the deficit before the break through long-serving defender Forsyth.

A free-kick was lofted in from deep and Beadle came to punch but got nowhere near it leaving Forsyth to head towards goal from around 15-yards but his header rattled the top of the crossbar before dropping over.

But that man Forsyth did indeed halve the deficit with what was the final action of the first half.

A corner from captain Conor Hourihane was flicked on by James Collins and Forsyth, who had peeled away from his marker at the back post, was there to volley home and give the Rams a lifeline at the break.

The second half opened with Derby earning more corners as Warne's men looked to find themselves an early equaliser and make the growing number of set-pieces count.

It was as one-sided as could be in the early stages of the second period and the Rams had a glorious opportunity to level the game after an hour through Kane Wilson.

Substitute Tyreece John-Jules got down the left and cut the ball back for Tom Barkhuizen, whose effort was blocked, but it fell kindly to Wilson six-yards out who could only volley over the bar.

John-Jules was involved again minutes later when he latched onto a ball from Wilson before taking a touch and firing towards goal but his effort was tipped wide by Beadle.

The hosts could have finished it up the other end after catching Derby on the break but substitute James Henry could only fire tamely at Wildsmith when unmarked in the box.

But it was the Rams that got the well-deserved equaliser through substitute Thompson who headed home with one of his first touches after being introduced.

The midfielder latched onto the end of a delicious ball in by Cashin to head beyond Beadle and level the game with 10 minutes remaining.

And the turnaround was complete on 85 minutes with Cashin, the provider for the equaliser, turning goalscorer for the third.

Hourihane's free-kick from the left was met by the defender and he swept the ball beyond Beadle to put the Rams in front for the first time on the night.

The hosts had to push for an equaliser but barely threatened Derby who held out for a massive three points on the road.

The Teams

Oxford United: Beadle (GK), Brown, Moore (C), Mills (59' McEachran), Brannagan, Harris (70' Thorniley), Bennett, Stevens, McGuane (87' O'Donkor), Goodrham (46' Henry), Rodrigues

Substitutes not used: Eastwood (GK), Smyth, Gorrin.

Derby County: Wildsmith (GK), Wilson (81' Ward), Forsyth (75' Bradley), Hourihane (C), Cashin, Barkhuizen (81' Thompson), Bird, Collins (61' John-Jules), Mendez-Laing, Nyambe (75' Sibley), Nelson.

Substitutes not used: Vickers (GK), Elder.

What's Up Next?

The Rams return to Pride Park for what will be the first match of 2024 when they take on Peterborough United on New Year's Day (3pm kick-off).

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