Troubled Rams end a tough week with win over Stoke
Derby County 2
Bird 31, Davies 34
Stoke City 1
Derby County dug deep to claim what looks like it'll be a crucial three points as they beat Stoke City at Pride Park on Saturday.
Faced with the prospect of impending administration and the deduction of a large number of points that will leave them adrift at the bottom of the table, the Rams got their fightback under way with a win that was backed by passionate support from those who have seen their club go through the mill on so many levels in recent months.
And it will give boss Wayne Rooney the belief that his players have at least a fighting chance of recovering from whatever points deduction may be about to follow.
The hosts nearly led early on when Lee Buchanan's effort was blocked on the line by Harry Souttar, but they then went in front in spectacular style.
Max Bird had never scored for the Rams before today in 78 appearances, but just after the half-hour he struck a stunning effort from 25 yards which found the top corner of the net - the perfect way to mark his 21st birthday.
Three minutes later it was two, a player at the opposite end of his career this time on target as Curtis Davies got his head to a Graeme Shinnie free-kick and glanced it past keeper Josef Bursik and into the net.
Bursik saved well one-on-one with Sam Baldock just before the break, and then Ravel Morrison missed a sitter from a few yards out.
Stoke responded with Sam Surridge seeing a shot well saved by Kelle Roos, before former Ram Tom Ince pulled a goal back with a composed finish on the hour.
The visitors nearly nicked a point late on when Ben Wilmot's header was just over the top, but the Rams held on.