Derby 1-0 Preston: Matej Vydra hits penalty winner
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 15/08/17 10:58pm
Matej Vydra's penalty earned Derby their first Sky Bet Championship win of the season as they triumphed 1-0 over Preston.
Vydra's 58th-minute spot-kick had too much power for Chris Maxwell to handle as Gary Rowett's men wrapped up a battling victory.
The Rams had turned up the pressure in the second half following what was an even first 45 minutes in which both sides had chances. The victory could have been more emphatic for the home side, with Maxwell pulling off a number of good saves to keep the score down. The visitors also had Darnell Fisher to thank for two goal-saving blocks right at the start of the second period.
Derby had started strongly with Andreas Weimann firing wide, despite having an empty net to aim at, after Maxwell fluffed an attempted clearance two minutes in. Callum Robinson shot over following a swift Preston counter-attack and he was denied again seconds later when Scott Carson saved his long-range free-kick.
Maxwell saved well with his feet on 19 minutes to deny David Nugent after Weimann's pass finally cut open Preston.
A brilliant block on the line by Fisher denied Nugent a certain goal right at the start of the second half. It came at the end of a superb break by the Rams, which saw Vydra burst past three defenders to create the chance.
Derby were awarded a penalty after Greg Cunningham tugged back Curtis Davies from the resulting corner. And, although Maxwell got his fingertips to Vydra's shot, he was unable to keep out the perfectly-placed penalty.
Johnny Russell was inches away from making it 2-0 five minutes later when he let rip with a 30-yard strike. And Russell threatened again on 73 minutes when he failed to get enough power and bend on a curling effort.
Paul Gallagher curled a tame free-kick into the hands of Carson on 80 minutes, before Alan Browne had a volley saved in the first minute of added time.
Gary Rowett: "It was important to respond to Saturday. I thought we were much better this evening. There was much more energy and we were more compact as a team and better. But for more composure and quality in our attacking play we could have made the game safer much earlier.
"Preston will put the ball in the box if they get a chance and they had a chance right at the end, which for a moment I wasn't sure if they had scored. We limited Preston to few chances and I'm pleased with how we saw the game out, we showed great resilience.
"There was no argument about the penalty. The ref warned the player two or three times before he gave it and once you grab someone in the box you leave yourself open to that. The keeper probably should have saved it but I'm really pleased for Vydra. You saw tonight what he can offer."
Alex Neil: "The penalty is difficult, everyone is moving about and jostling for position and that will always happen. It is disappointing that the linesman called it. Linesmen get involved as and when they chose to get involved, so it's disappointing that he chose to pick his moment tonight.
"I have seen them given so I am not suggesting we were hard done by, but the referee could not see it. Derby put us under pressure for a good 10-15 minutes at the start of the second half and we did not cope with it."