REPORT: Derby County 2-0 Ipswich Town
Derby County returned to winning ways with a 2-0 success at home to Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.
In a game that struggled for quality throughout, it required plenty of patience from the Rams who were always the better side, Ipswich toothless and rarely threatening Scott Carson in the Derby goal.
Both goals came in the second-half after a dire first 45 minutes, but for Rams boss Frank Lampard it offered some relief after two successive league defeats.
The Derby side was better balanced than at times this campaign, teenager Jayden Bogle offering good attacking options from right-back to mirror Craig Forsyth down the left and Tom Lawrence again being the main cog in the Derby attacking play.
And overall they looked far more secure at the back despite Ipswich not possessing the tools to do a great deal of damage.
Craig Bryson cut inside and fired the first effort of the game well over the top in only the second minute, then six minutes later Trevoh Chalobah's weak shot was seen wide of the post by Carson at the other end.
The game then went into a lull as it became very stop-start and neither goalkeeper was being tested.
The Rams then suffered a blow when George Evans went down off the ball and subsequently hobbled off, Joe Ledley coming on to replace him and sit in front of the back four.
David Nugent nearly brought a very dull game to life on 35 minutes as he cut inside from the left and curled an effort that was just wide of the far post, the Rams looking the most likely to score despite not being too productive in the final third.
Grant Ward fired low at Carson on 40 minutes after the Rams had made a hash of clearing the ball, but half-time arrived with very little to shout about for either side.
Derby began the second half a little brighter and Bogle, who was showing good attacking intent down the right, fed Mason Mount who screwed his shot wide.
Luke Chambers headed a Town corner too high on 56 minutes, before the game suddenly came to life on the hour mark with the opening goal.
A corner from the right was cleared as far as Ledley on the edge of the penalty area and he hit a half volley on his left foot which flew into the top corner of the net, with the help of a deflection on the way.
The Rams then doubled their lead nine minutes later. A free-kick was awarded just outside the penalty area, Lawrence's strike going through the wall and into the net, albeit via a very strong hand from keeper Bartosz Bialkowski which couldn't prevent it crossing the line.
Mount drove forward to shoot wide on 75 minutes as Derby looked to kill the game off completely, Ipswich continuing to show very little going forward and never looking likely to score.
Chalobah's effort from distance driften harmlessly over the top on 79, while Kayden Jackson shot straight at Carson six minutes later, but the game fizzled out and Derby were ultimately comfortable winners.
Derby: Carson, Forsyth, Bryson, Tomori, Keogh (c), Mount, Lawrence, Evans (Ledley 28), Bennett (Jozefsoon 69), Nugent (Marriott 77), Bogle
Subs not used: Roos, Wisdom, Waghorn, Lowe
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Donacien, Knudsen, Chambers (c), Chalobah, Edwards (Roberts 75), Skuse (Downes 65), Harrison (Kayden Jackson 63), Nolan, Ward, Nsiala
Subs not used: Gerken, Spence, Sears, Kenlock
Ref: Scott Duncan