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Derby County returned to winning ways thanks to an emphatic 3-0 victory at Exeter City on Tuesday evening.

Goals from Max Bird, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen sealed the win for Paul Warne's side on the road and saw them retain second spot in Sky Bet League One.

Key Moments

The Rams had a great chance to take the lead inside the opening five minutes and it all came following great work from Kane Wilson down the right. The defender chopped inside and beat his man before working his way into the box and pulling it back for James Collins, whose shot was denied down low by Vil Sinisalo.

It was end-to-end in the early stages and Exeter captain Reece Cole bent a strike over from the edge of the box with the home side's first shot of the evening.

Cole then had another go from distance direct from a free-kick but Joe Wildsmith was equal to his effort and made a comfortable save.

Derby took the lead 24 minutes in and it was an excellent finish from Bird that opened the scoring. The midfielder picked the ball up centrally and drove forward before beating his man and firing a superb effort into the bottom right corner for his third goal in his last four appearances.

Exeter were the width of a post away from equalising moments later. Jack Aitchison was afforded too much space on the edge of the area and he set himself onto his right foot before striking an effort low only to be denied by the outside of the post.

The last action of the first half nearly brought it a second goal for the Rams when left-back Callum Elder let fly from range, but his shot was saved well by Sinisalo down to his left.

Derby started the second half on top and quickly found themselves two goals to the good. Bird picked the ball up in the middle of the park and sent a delightful through ball into the path of Mendez-Laing who made no mistake, firing first-time emphatically beyond Sinisalo in front of the travelling Rams fans for his ninth goal of the season.

Two became three on the hour mark and Derby were in dreamland. Goalscorer for the second, Mendez-Laing, turned provider when he sent substitute Barkhuizen on his way down the left.

The winger still had a huge amount to do but he cut inside and fired an exquisite strike into the bottom right corner for his seventh goal of the season.

It should have been four soon minutes later when Mendez-Laing beat the offside trap and got in behind the home backline but with just Sinisalo to beat, he blazed his effort over the bar.

Mo Eisa was close to getting one back for the visitors when he found himself in on goal from close-range but midfielder Ebou Adams got back to make an heroic block to clear the danger.

Substitute Sonny Cox probably should have added a consolation for the hosts when he fired over from six-yards out in injury time, but the Rams held on to their clean-sheet and claimed another big three points on the road.

The Teams

Exeter City: Sinisalo (GK), Jules, Aimson (61' Sweeney), Carroll (76' Woods), Cole (C) (61' Cox), Niskanen (61' Rankine), Harris (80' Wildschut), Eisa, Aitchison, Harper, Diabate.

Substitutes not used: MacDonald (GK), Hartridge.

Derby County: Wildsmith (GK), Wilson, Hourihane (C) (72' Bradley), Cashin (88' Ward), Bird, Collins, Mendez-Laing (72' Smith), Elder, Blackett-Taylor (46' Barkhuizen), Adams (76 Sibley), Nelson.

Substitutes not used: Loach (GK), Thompson.

What's Up Next?

The Rams are back on home turf on Saturday when they welcome Steve Evans' Stevenage to Pride Park Stadium (3pm kick-off).

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