Report from DERBY COUNTY 2-0 LUTON TOWN as fortune shines on the Rams...twice

Florian Jozefzoon (right) challenges Ryan Tunnicliffe during the win over Luton. Photo: Kristen Goodall
Florian Jozefzoon (right) challenges Ryan Tunnicliffe during the win over Luton. Photo: Kristen Goodall

It took two slices of luck to achieve it but Derby County made it five games unbeaten as they beat Luton Town at Pride Park on Saturday.

A comical own goal and a cross that flew straight into the net would be the difference, but it mattered little to Derby and their fans as they again showed signs of improvement following their rocky start to the campaign.

Simon Sluga (left) tries in vain to stop the ball rolling in after letting it roll under his foot for the opening goal.

Simon Sluga (left) tries in vain to stop the ball rolling in after letting it roll under his foot for the opening goal.

Having gone into the last international break on the back of a horror show at Brentford, the fact they've not lost since and go into the next one off the back of a win will please boss Phillip Cocu no end as he continues to try and stabilise Derby's campaign following that stuttering start.

And while this display was far from a masterclass, it was enough to see off a Luton side who were made to rue a glaring miss by James Collins not long after falling behind.

Graeme Shinnie made his first league start - up against his brother Andrew in the Hatters' midfield - and proceeded to turn in a man-of-the-match display having finally been given the chance to show what he can do following his summer move from Aberdeen.

Others didn't shine so bright, although Jayden Bogle highlighted his importance to the side with another good display down the right, but it all proved enough to earn the three points that lifted the Rams to 13th in the table.

After a quiet first ten minutes that the Rams had largely controlled, they took the lead in bizarre circumstances. Matty Pearson played a simple back pass from right-back towards keeper Simon Sluga, but the ball rolled underneath the Hatters keeper's foot and crept into the net, much to the humoured delight of most inside Pride Park.

Graeme Shinnie's strike from distance was then gathered by Sluga as the Rams aimed to turn the screw, before Luton responded with Collins somehow putting the ball over the top from barely two yards out after a low cross from James Bree.

The Rams continued to be the bigger threat, Bogle in particular a useful outlet, but they weren't making enough of their possession to seriously threaten a second, that until a break from a Luton free-kick that had broken down ended with Chris Martin playing a poor ball across to a wide open Florian Jozefzoon and the chance was gone.

Chances were few and far between, Collins heading another right-wing cross wide of the target two minutes before the break, the Rams taking a lead into half-time thanks to a goal they'd had nothing to do with.

Tom Lawrence broke forward and fired wide early in the second period, while at the other end Ryan Tunnicliffe blasted too high when the ball fell to him in the penalty area.

Bogle's mis-hit from a Scott Malone cross saw the Rams close to a second, the home faithful getting frustrated by their lack of positivity in the second-half as they lacked movement from the front players.

Lawrence was close again when he cut in and fired just wide on 63 minutes, but it was he who would be the scorer of the second five minutes later, albeit with more luck on the Rams' side.

The ball broke to Lawrence out on the right touchline, and his volleyed cross flew over the head of Sluga and into the far corner of the net, Lawrence's celebration somewhat apologetic for what could have been any number of reasons.

The game fizzled out after that, Kazenga LuaLua's late shot straight at Rams keeper Kelle Roos for his first major bit of work of the afternoon, and the Rams would otherwise see the game out with few scares.

Derby:

21 Kelle Roos

4 Graeme Shinnie

5 Krystian Bielik (Andre Wisdom 89)

7 Jamie Paterson (Duane Holmes 84)

10 Tom Lawrence

11 Florian Jozefzoon

16 Matt Clarke

19 Chris Martin (Martyn Waghorn 72)

33 Curtis Davies

37 Jayden Bogle

46 Scott Malone

Subs not used: Hamer, Dowell, Lowe, Knight

Luton

12 Simon Sluga

3 Dan Potts

4 Ryan Tunnicliffe

5 Sonny Bradley (c)

6 Matty Pearson

7 Callum McManaman (Izzy Brown 63)

11 Andrew Shinnie (Luke Bolton 81)

14 Harry Cornick (Kazenga LuaLua 74)

17 Pelly Ruddock

19 James Collins

26 James Bree

Subs not used: James Shea, Elliot Lee, Lloyd Jones, Jacob Butterfield

Ref: Geoff Eltringham

Att: 27,944

Star Ram: Graeme Shinnie

GOALS:

Derby: Pearson 11og, Lawrence 70