• Trent Hutson

Rams stun high-flying Bournemouth as Lawrence strikes twice

SkyBet Championship

Derby County 3

Knight 13, Lawrence 62, 69pen

Bournemouth 2

Anthony 19, Solanke 38

A resilient and hard working Derby County side battled back to condemn AFC Bournemouth to just their second defeat of the campaign at Pride Park this afternoon.

Tom Lawrence’s second-half brace rewarded the Rams with all three points and lifted them out of negative points for the second time this campaign, whilst springing some positivity around Pride Park after another tough week for the club.

On a day where all odds were stacked against the Rams following a further nine point deduction, they broke out the blocks the stronger of the two teams to fire themselves into an early lead.

Bournemouth have been a revelation this campaign under Scott Parker, but after pressure out wide on the flanks, Derby were eventually rewarded with the opener through Jason Knight on the 13th minute.

Jason Knight heads home the opener. Photo: Derby County FC.

Max Bird’s corner was hung up perfectly for an unmarked Knight who rose up and clinically headed the ball home into the bottom corner.

Bournemouth academy product Jaidon Anthony netted twice in a 4-0 win over Swansea City before the international break and he was on hand once again for the Cherries, to draw the game level.

After a shaky defensive mix-up, Parker’s side threw a plethora of bodies at Derby to press them in and saw two efforts denied before rippling the net. Ryan Christie’s strike was first saved by Kelle Roos, before Curtis Davies cleared the follow-up off the line only for it to fall into the path of Anthony who rifled home the equaliser just five minutes after Derby’s deadlock breaker.

Davies came close on the half-hour mark, but he could only glance the ball into the hands of Mark Travers in the Bournemouth goal, after connecting with a Bird free-kick at the back post.

Derby would rue the missed chance seven minutes before the interval. It was a beautiful move that started at the back and finished in Roos’ net, as Bournemouth top scorer Dominic Solanke fired home from close range for his 14th league goal of the campaign.

The Rams came mighty close just moments before the interval through Graeme Shinnie. After some great play from Festy Ebosele to stand up a cross for Lawrence, the ball found its way to Shinnie, who powerfully fired just over the bar.

In truth, the game stalled during the first 15 minutes of the second-half, with very little in the way of chances for both sides. But, two goals in six minutes flipped the script of the second-half and the scoreline entirely on its head.

Lawrence’s beautiful curling finish into the top right corner levelled proceedings, but the Derby skipper didn’t stop with just the one and was on hand to fire the Rams ahead.

Jack Stacey bundled Lee Buchanan over inside the area and referee Gavin Ward never hesitated when pointing to the spot. Lawrence owned the responsibility from 12 yards and dually obliged, striking the ball with power past Travers to gift the Rams a hard-fought lead.

The visitors had chances to draw the game level, but squandered them. Solanke found himself in space inside the area but fired wide and amazingly, with the goal gaping at the back post, Philip Billing looked destined to score, but glanced a late header wide of the upright as Derby held on for maximum points.