Derby County will go into the new 2015/16 season on the back of a win after rounding off their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Burton Albion.

Derby County will go into the new 2015/16 season on the back of a win after rounding off their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Burton Albion.

Darren Bent opened his pre-season account with a fine strike after 11 minutes, before Andreas Weimann doubled the advantage to cap off a commanding first half display from the visitors.

A brief fight back saw Timmy Thiele half the deficit, but Johnny Russell scored his fourth pre-season goal late on to confirm the result.

For all their dominance in the opening 45 minutes, it took the inside of the post to prevent them falling behind to the newly promoted Sky Bet League 1 side.

After Nasser El Khayati escaped down the left, the Dutch wideman stepped inside Cyrus Christie before crashing a right foot shot beyond Scott Carson – only to see his fine strike denied by the post.

From that point on, Paul Clement’s side, operating in a 4-2-3-1 formation, switched into cruise control – knocking the ball around the Pirelli Stadium and pulling Burton’s players from one side of the pitch to the other.

As much as George Thorne was instrumental in the Rams’ tempo, the midfielder also played a key role in the visitors’ opening goal.

After dispossessing Tom Naylor, the former Derby defender, in the middle of the park, the 22-year-old played a quick pass to the feet of Bent, who, stretching, struck a sweet shot beyond Remi Matthews and into the near corner.

After Mark Duffy saw a low drive saved by Carson, Bent saw a goal bound effort well blocked after meeting Christie’s low centre.

The Rams did double their lead only three minutes later as Andreas Weimann scored his second goal inside a week – following up his equaliser against Villarreal on Wednesday.

Comfortable in possession, Derby worked the ball out to the right and the feet of Johnny Russell. The Scottish winger swept a low ball into the area where Weimann was lurking to swivel and hit first time into the far corner.

Clement’s men had two further golden chances to add to the scoreline before the interval.

Tom Ince saw an effort blocked by Matthews after meeting Craig Forsyth’s low centre, before Weimann saw a clean strike beaten away by Matthews from close range.

The Brewers nearly halved the deficit two minutes after the interval after Naylor connected with Phil Edwards’ high cross from the right, but Carson was well placed to meet the header.

After Ince saw a fine effort saved by Matthews following a pass from Bent, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side did claw the scoreline back to one.

Anthony O’Connor met a deep free kick from the right at the back post and after his header crashed against the crossbar, Timmy Thiele, the substitute, slammed the loose ball into the net.

On 67 minutes, Jerome Binnom-Williams, who recently joined the Brewers on loan, embarked on a lung-busting run through the middle that concluded with him firing over the bar, but after weathering the storm, Derby hit back to add a third.

After a deep cross from the left was picked up by Jeff Hendrick, the midfielder attempted a volley on goal.

Though the shot was tame, it fell into the path of Russell, who, calm and composed, slotted a low shot into the back of the net for his fourth pre-season goal.

Simon Dawkins, on his first pre-season outing, saw a low drive saved and Hendrick saw a fizzing free kick fly narrowly wide late on as Derby saw out the remainder of the contest to ensure they begin the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship campaign on a winning note.

Derby County: Carson, Christie (Ssewankambo, 56), Shotton (Keogh, 66), Shackell, Forsyth; Baird (C) (Hanson, 66), Thorne (Hendrick, 66), Russell, Ince (Dawkins, 76), Weimann (Hughes, 76); Bent (Martin, 67)

Substitutes not used: Grant, Pearce, Warnock

Attendance: 5,302

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