Derby County Striker Chris Martin netted two in emphatic style to give the Rams their first win of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship campaign at Preston North End.

Derby County Striker Chris Martin netted two in emphatic style to give the Rams their first win of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship campaign at Preston North End.

An intelligent finish and a sublimely taken free kick from the forward, all inside a stand out first half performance proved enough as a rejuvenated Preston put Lee Grant’s goal under intense pressure.

Daniel Johnson netted deep into stoppage time after an injury to Chris Baird, the Captain, meant 15 minutes were added on to the end of the game, but Derby held on to claim their first three points of the season.

With the message pre-game clear, Derby started the contest well with debutant Bradley Johnson having the first opportunity of the game when a 25-yard effort deflected out for a corner.

Following the attempt, an inch perfect corner delivery from Tom Ince provided a second opportunity at goal for the Rams as Martin managed a headed effort, which forced panic amongst the Preston defence as the ball was scrambled off the line.

Derby continued to pile on the attacking pressure, providing yet another chance for Rams striker, Martin, through good link up play from Johnny Russell – the chance, however, was sent narrowly wide.

On 23 minutes, Derby’s impressive attacking display was rewarded. Exceptional play between Ince and Russell sent Martin through on goal and the 25-year-old kept his nerve to beat Jordan Pickford.

Immediately after the games restart, Johnson almost put the Rams two up after he poked wide, before Martin struck again with 10 minutes remaining, smashing in a free kick after Russell had been hauled down on the edge of the area.

Into the second half, Derby began where they left off upon the games restart - an early chance was presented to Jacob Butterfield, another debutant, through a neat touch from Russell.

Just before the hour mark, Johnson saw a low effort saved, before Simon Grayson’s side laid siege on Grant’s goal.

An array of long-range attempts from the likes of Joe Garner and substitute Stevie May marked as the start of Preston’s most productive spell.

Preston continued to press in the Derby County half – the most notable attempt being May’s power-charged shot, which forced a spectacular reaction from Grant in the 77th minute.

As the game approached its climax, Preston refused to give up. A venomous strike from forward, Garner, appeared to halved the deficit, but despite beating Grant, the ball cannoned off the far post and back into the ‘keeper’s grateful arms.

The Rams suffered yet another injury set back in area of midfield, when in the remaining minutes of the game, Derby Captain, Chris Baird, suffered a nasty head injury and endured 10 minutes of treatment before being stretchered off.


Due to the Ram’s having made all three substitutions, Derby were forced to see out the game with ten men.

In extra time, Derby wideman Andreas Weimann had an opportunity to net a third for the Rams, when a precise, long-range effort was tipped away by the Lilywhites ‘keeper Pickford.

With the final whistle looming, Preston’s perseverance was duly reward after a deflected effort from the midfield maestro, Daniel Johnson, found the back of the net.

Nevertheless, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as the Rams deservedly clinched their first victory of the 2015/16 campaign.

Derby County: Grant, Christie, Keogh, Martin, Russell, Baird (C), Shackell, Johnson, Butterfield (Hendrick, 61), Ince (Weimann, 74), Warnock (Forsyth, 79)

Substitutes not used: Carson, Bent, Hanson, Shotton

Preston North End: Pickford, Vermijl (May, 55), Cunningham, Clarke (C), Wright, Kilkenny, Keane (Doyle, 55), Johnson, Garner, Welsh (Humphrey, 70) , Huntington

Substitutes not used: Kirkland, Woods, Browne, Brownhill

Attendance: 14,452 (3,234 Derby fans)

Tweets by @ dcfcofficial