Derby County 2-0 Luton Town: Lee Gregory and Graeme Shinnie give Rams vital win


Lee Gregory
Lee Gregory turned in his third goal of the season from Martyn Waghorn’s cut-back

Derby moved eight points clear of the Championship relegation places as they beat Luton to end a seven-game winless run.

Martyn Waghorn did well to control a long diagonal ball and lay it back across goal for Lee Gregory to turn in the Rams opener.

Derby goalkeeper David Marshall made a superb stop to deny Elijah Adebayo an equaliser in an open and entertaining first half.

Graeme Shinnie doubled the lead soon after the break with a pinpoint penalty into the bottom corner after Glen Rea caught Tom Lawrence.

The win lifts the Rams up to 18th, giving them a little breathing space as third-bottom Rotherham lost at Millwall, while Luton, who have failed to win at Derby in their last 10 attempts, stay 13th.

Derby had failed to score in five of their previous six outings, and faced an in-form Hatters side with back-to-back clean sheets, but the hosts made an explosive start, with Louie Sibley drawing two saves from goalkeeper Simon Sluga before Gregory’s early tap-in.

The two sides had only served up 58 league goals between them this season, but delivered an open first half with plenty of chances.

Luton, who are a draw away from matching last season’s points total, went close to levelling it up when Adebayo headed just wide from six yards, while Marshall pushed Rea’s header past the post.

Lawrence went close to a second for Wayne Rooney’s side, sending an effort just past the far post, and Sluga then thwarted Sibley for a third time when he got down to save his half-volley.

Wales international Lawrence made a twisting run into the box to win Derby’s penalty and almost engineered a third when he drilled a shot across goal which Jordan Clark cleared off the line.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney told BBC Radio derby:

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“It was a game we had to win, I stressed that to the players before the game – we can’t leave the stadium today without the three points.

“We had a very good week of training, we prepared really well, and I think that showed, especially in the first 30 minutes.”

Luton boss Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio:

“We are not a team to chase from 2-0 and we don’t usually have to do that, but we started both halves really poorly.

“Derby started fast, but we allowed them to come on to us a little bit and we conceded. If we’d seen that period out then, for half an hour of the first half we were excellent, I thought, and created enough chances to have got on the scoresheet.

“We want to start (the second half) well and go after the first goal and it was the polar opposite.

“From our corner they break, we had numbers back there, don’t defend it well enough and suddenly it’s 2-0 and pretty much game over.”

Line-ups

Derby

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 2WisdomBooked at 47mins
  • 16Clarke
  • 3Forsyth
  • 12ByrneBooked at 66mins
  • 8Bird
  • 4Shinnie
  • 19GregorySubstituted forJozwiakat 62′minutes
  • 17SibleyBooked at 51minsSubstituted forKnightat 62′minutes
  • 10LawrenceSubstituted forBuchananat 84′minutes
  • 9WaghornSubstituted forKazim-Richardsat 45+1′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 7Jozwiak
  • 13Kazim-Richards
  • 15Mengi
  • 21Roos
  • 23Roberts
  • 26Buchanan
  • 34Baningime
  • 38Knight
  • 40Watson

Luton

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 12Sluga
  • 26Bree
  • 6PearsonBooked at 81mins
  • 24Naismith
  • 18Clark
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 16ReaSubstituted forInceat 57′minutes
  • 4Tunnicliffe
  • 22Dewsbury-HallBooked at 66minsSubstituted forBerryat 82′minutes
  • 7CornickSubstituted forCollinsat 70′minutes
  • 29AdebayoSubstituted forNombeat 70′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 2Cranie
  • 8Berry
  • 14Moncur
  • 19Collins
  • 25LuaLua
  • 27Nombe
  • 28Morrell
  • 39Ince

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