Article by Simon Long @ramswriter
Derby travelled to Boundary Park on a mild August night to face Oldham Athletic in the Carabao Cup 1st round. Goals from Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount helped secure a 0-2 win for the Rams.
After a disappointing 1-4 defeat at home to Leeds at the weekend Derby needed a lift. Derby were outclassed, outworked, and outplayed by Leeds. The balance of the team was wrong and something had to change.
Derby Manager, Frank Lampard felt the same, he switched formations from 433 to a 4231. He also changed personnel. There was a debut at right back for 17 year old academy product Jayden Bogle. Lampard also gave debuts to summer signings, George Evans, Scott Malone and Jack Marriot. Florian Jozefzoon also got his first start in a Rams shirt.
Derby started the game brightly and were controlling it. Marriot had Derby’s first chance after 9 minutes. Following some excellent work in midfield by Mount and Johnson, the ball found its way to Malone on the left hand side, he drove a ball across the box, but Marriot couldn’t keep his header down.
Marriot had another chance after 25 minutes. Mount won the ball in the centre of the park and found Malone again, free on the left, he cut a ball back to Marriot at the edge of the area, but his right footed shot was thawted by Iversen in the Oldham goal. Seconds later Johnson found himself in the same position but again, it was Iversen to the rescue.
Derby were pushing for the opening goal. With 36 minutes gone the ever present Mount won a freekick 25 yards from goal. Harry Wilson whipped in a lovely ball and it found the out stretched foot of Fikayo Tomori, who nestled it in to the far corner. However the goal was credited to Oldham’s Sam Graham. Tomori was having none of and claimed it was his in and interview with RamsTv.
Oldham created a couple of chances before the break, both falling to Jonathan Benteke but he could only find the gloves of Scott Carson.
The second half got under way and it was Oldham who were looking more likely to find the second goal of the game. Johan Branger had an attempt from outside the box, but the towering Tomori was there to block it.
The game began to get a bit scrappy with neither team really taking control. Just after the hour mark Derby had a chance to double their lead. Derby countered following an Oldham throw, again Mount was involved, he released Wilson down the right, he cut inside, but his left footed shot whistled past the far post.
Oldham wouldn’t back down; Chris O’Grady saw his header drift just wide, whilst John Branger was denied by a great stop from Scott Carson. It was Derby though who scored to shatter Oldham’s hopes. Bennett’s cross from the right was only half cleared it fell to debutant Evans who looked to unleash a spectacular volley. He got his shot all wrong, but the bounce fell kindly to Mason Mount who swivelled and volleyed home from 22 yards. Mount had deserved that goal, he was by far the man of the match.
Florian Jozefzoon thought he had scored his first goal for Derby only to be denied by what the ref deemed a foul in the build up. Oldham’s best chance came from Jose Baxter, his powerful shot smashed the upright. Waghorn was unlucky not to open his account for the Rams as he shot was just wide in the dying moments.
Full time it ended Oldham Athletic 0-2 Derby County. Rams fans could be a lot happier with the performance. The change in formation made them look a lot more solid in midfield. All the debutants played exceptionally well, and this will no doubt give Lampard a selection headache when the Rams visit Millwall on Saturday. Fikayo Tomori gave another fine defensive display and Mason Mount showed why Gareth Southgate let him train with the England squad before the World Cup.