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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 12,263) 13th August 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Deadman

Watford Watford vs Derby County Derby

ft

Derby 1

S Davies (51)

Davies' drive earns Rams win

Last Updated: 13/08/11 5:47pm

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Davies: Netted winner for Derby

Davies: Netted winner for Derby

A superb strike from Steve Davies early in the second half was enough to give Derby a 1-0 win at Watford in the Championship on Saturday.

Nigel Clough's side bounced back from the midweek Carling Cup defeat against Shrewsbury despite spending most of the game on the back foot.

The strike from Davies, his second of the season having also scored the winner against Birmingham at Pride Park last weekend, secured the Rams' first victory at Vicarage Road since 2009 and their first away win in seven league games.

The Hornets, unchanged from last week's draw at Burnley, should have taken the lead in the first five minutes after Mark Yeates set up Marvin Sordell inside the box, but his effort was well saved by Frank Fielding.

Lloyd Doyley, making his 300th league appearance for Watford, set up Craig Forsyth just five minutes later, but he headed wide.

It was all Watford early on, with Martin Taylor also missing from an inviting position.

Derby's first sight of goal came after 17 minutes through Jamie Ward, fresh from international duty with Northern Ireland, but his long-range effort sailed over the crossbar.

Sordell was in the action once again in the 25th minute but his 18-yard effort was comfortably saved by Fielding.

Watford continued to dominate and Forsyth had another sight of goal five minutes before half-time but he shot wide from the right of the area.

The Hornets continued to press and could have gone ahead after more good work from Yeates, but his cross was headed wide by Sordell towards the end of the half.

Despite making all the running, Watford fell behind after 51 minutes, as Davies struck with a thunderbolt.

He received the ball from Lee Croft 20 yards out, cut onto his left foot on the right side, and rifled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

The goal seemed to startle Watford, and Derby pressed forward with Ward's long-range shot being well saved by Scott Loach.

Watford again poured forward to force an equaliser through the lively Sordell, and his fierce 20-yard effort was tipped around the post by Fielding to deny the Hornets.

The home side went agonisingly close to an equaliser on 79 minutes, Yeates crossed to the head of John Eustace but once again, Fielding thwarted Watford, this time with his feet.

Further invention from Yeates set up substitute Gavin Massey after 88 minutes with the goal at his mercy, but his header was held by the outstanding Fielding.

Massey had another chance to salvage a point in injury time, but he could only head Yeates' corner over the crossbar.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23