Rams run out comfortable winners at non-league Matlock Town.

A Derby County XI ran out 3-0 winners at non-league Matlock Town on Tuesday evening.

All three of Derby’s goals came in the second half, with winger Michael Jacobs netting a penalty while frontman Theo Robinson helped himself to a brace.

The Rams named a strong side against the Evo Stik Premier Division side with available for transfer Adam Legzdins, James O’Connor, Tom Naylor, James Bailey, Nathan Tyson and Robinson all named in the starting XI.

Jacobs, at his own request, played for an hour to get match time under his belt while youngsters Callum Ball, Michael Hoganson, Valentin Gjokaj and Niall Dawkins completed the starting line-up at Causeway Lane.

The game started quietly, although Legzdins did have an early save to make by blocking Matlock striker Danny Holland’s header – but otherwise the opening stages were largely uneventful in the sunshine in North Derbyshire.

It wasn’t until just after the half-hour mark that the game sprang to life, with Derby stepping up the tempo and their attacking flair to dominate in the final 15 minutes of the half.

On 33 minutes Tyson turned smartly on the edge of the box to get a shot away, but Jon Kennedy in the home goal was quick to react to dive to his left and gather the ball.

That effort proved to be the start a one-way battle between Tyson and Kennedy, as the home custodian produced two excellent stops shortly afterwards from two thunderous efforts from just inside the box in the final minutes of the half from the striker - as well as a point-blank block from Dawkins.

The half-time break allowed the home side to regroup for the second period, but the Rams carried on where they left off and deservedly took the lead five minutes after the interval.

Jacobs was hauled down in the box by right-back James Ashmore after bursting into the box from the left, and the winger dusted himself down to fire home the resultant penalty into the top left-hand corner for his second goal of Derby’s pre-season campaign – quickly erasing the memories of his missed spot-kick at Burton Albion a week ago.

A second goal almost followed, but Gjokaj saw his header superbly saved by Kennedy from a few yards out after Jacobs’ corner picked out the Albanian Under 21 international centre-back.

However, on 67 minutes Robinson did double Derby’s advantage as he found himself perfectly placed six yards out from goal to turn home Ball’s low centre from the left.

That proved to be the last meaningful act of the game until the final minute, when Robinson grabbed his second of the night by latching onto substitute Josh Thomas’ left-wing cross to score at the far post to round off proceedings.

Matlock Town: Kennedy, Ashmore, Leesley, Foster, Haggerty, Radford, Gregory, Foster, Holland, Thomas, Needham.

Subs: McMahon, White, Davies, Snodin, Gaughan, Griffiths-Junior, Leese.

Derby County XI: Legzdins (Deeney 70), O’Connor (Berry 89), Hoganson (Hayes 89), Bailey, Naylor, Gjokaj (Lelan 89), Robinson, Dawkins (Wassall 85), Ball (Dales 75), Tyson, Jacobs (Thomas 61).

Subs Not Used: None.


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