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Notts County 1 Derby County 3 - Match report

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 21, 2014

By Steve Nicholson

  • MAN ON A MISSION ... ChrisMartin scores Derby's first goal against Notts County

  • FULL STRETCH ... Jake Buxton slides into a tackle against Notts County at Meadow Lane on Saturday

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YOU have to go back 30 years for the last time a Derby County player topped Chris Martin's goalscoring feat last season.

Martin hit 25 goals as the Rams reached the Championship play-off final – one short of Bobby Davison's 26 in 1984-85.

Derby will again look to Martin for the goals this coming season and the striker showed his finishing quality at the weekend.

He scored a hat-trick as Steve McClaren's side recovered from a goal down to beat League One opponents Notts County 3-1 in Saturday's friendly at Meadow Lane.

Martin fired home an equaliser five minutes before half and dispatched a penalty early in the second half.

He saved his best finish to last with a rising drive into the top corner.

They were Martin's first goals of pre-season.

This was Derby's fifth first-team friendly and they face two more this week while away at a training camp in Austria. First up are Russian side Zenit St Petersburg tomorrow night followed by Slavija Sarajevo on Friday.

Jake Buxton, Johnny Russell and Kelle Roos played 90 minutes against Notts. Martin, Richard Keogh and Craig Forsyth 86, Jeff Hendrick 80 and Will Hughes 70.

Standard of opposition has increased with each friendly and the Rams are improving with each work-out. The games are a means to an end, as McClaren highlighted when he said: "We are getting to where we want to be."

Derby fielded a strong 11 in which new signing Cyrus Christie was at right-back.

George Thorne completed his move from West Bromwich Albion on Saturday morning but was not involved and so Will Hughes was the deepest of the midfield trio that also featured Jeff Hendrick and fit-again Craig Bryson.

Defender Zak Whitbread (back), midfielder Paul Coutts (hip flexor) and goalkeeper Lee Grant (knee) were not available. Mason Bennett played for the under-21s at Middlesbrough.

Christie's athleticism and pace caught the eye after only two minutes when he surged down the right and centred low towards Martin, who failed to connect with the ball when he looked set to score. Simon Dawkins' follow-up was deflected behind.

In Christie and Forsyth, Derby have full-backs who are comfortable going forward. This provides a double-edged attacking threat and is a positive approach but the 'back door' also has to remain closed.

Plenty of possession was enjoyed by Derby in the first half, although at times it was too intricate around the edge of the box, too many touches, but such things tend to iron themselves out pre-season.

There was nothing intricate about the goal that gave Notts the lead just before the half hour.

Skipper Richard Keogh was caught in possession just outside his own area and one of the Magpies' trialists, Elliott Whitehouse, thumped a shot high past Roos and in off the underside of the bar.

Martin levelled 11 minutes later when he expertly swept a first-time finish low past Fabian Spiess after Russell's smart pass had split Notts' defence.

Keogh almost headed the Rams in front a minute later, but Notts had tested Derby.

The Magpies' midfield included ex-Leeds United, Manchester United and England striker Alan Smith. The 33-year-old was influential and used his know-how.

Derby went ahead when Martin converted his spot kick in the 52nd minute after Dawkins had raced into the area, checked back and was tripped by Zeli Ismail, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ismail had a loan spell at Burton Albion last season.

That signalled the start of the substitutions, one of which saw Christie replaced by trialist Allasane Toure, a 25-year-old defender from French club RC Lens.

Toure went to right-back and made some solid challenges, and won some headers.

Hendrick wasted an opportunity to stretch Derby's lead and Forsyth's glancing header from Hendrick's free kick struck a post as the Rams controlled matters and went in search of a third goal.

The goal arrived after 75 minutes when Hendrick, full of running, squared to Martin who showed terrific technique to steer a first-time shot into the top corner. A stunning strike.

NOTTS COUNTY 1 DERBY COUNTY 3

NOTTS COUNTY: Spiess; Dixon (McKenzie, 7), Adams (Tempest, 46), Smith (Keane, 46), Mullins, Hollis, Ismail (Balmy, 61), Noble (Wroe, 61), Asante (Waite, 46), Dawson (Trialist , 61) Whitehouse (Murray, 61). Other subs: Andrews (gk), McGowan.

DERBY COUNTY: Roos; Christie (Toure, 52), Keogh (O'Brien, 86), Buxton, Forsyth (L Naylor, 86); Hendrick (Hanson, 80), Hughes (Sammon, 71), Bryson (Eustace, 52); Russell, Martin (Freeman, 86), Dawkins (Ward, 65). Other sub: Etheridge (gk)

REFEREE: D Deadman (Cambs)

ATTENDANCE: 3,235 (1,742 away fans)

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