Express & Star

Pictures and report of Derby 5 Wolves 0

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Sorry Wolves crashed to their heaviest defeat for over two-and-a-half years after being well beaten by promotion favourites Derby at rain-lashed i-Pro Stadium.



Ryan Shotton (16), Jeff Hendrick (28) and Johnny Russell (42) gave the Rams the platform for a one-sided victory before half-time.

Hendrick (55) and Russell on the hour completed the rout to inflict Wolves' biggest loss since a 5-0 home defeat by Manchester United on March 18, 2012.

Wolves looked second best from the start against a far more slicker, stronger and more inventive outfit who look certs for promotion after this rout.

The recalled George Saville had the chance to make a game of it when he blazed wide in the 24th minute with the score at 1-0.

But four minutes later Hendrick made it 2-0 to Steve McClaren's side and there was no way back for Wolves.

Leon Clarke hit the post with a deflected effort in the second half but by then the visitors were 5-0 and chasing only a consolation.

Head coach Kenny Jackett surprised everyone with a recall for captain Sam Ricketts at left-back.

The club captain returned for only his second League start of the season at the expense of Tommy Rowe, who dropped to the bench.

The other change saw Saville in for the injured Dave Edwards in the number 10 role, with Michael Jacobs starting on the bench against his old club.

After an immaculately observed minute's silence, Wolves, in their gold shorts, kicked off in driving rain.

But they were quickly forced onto the back foot by the rampaging Rams, who pretty much controlled the first half as Wolves had no answer to the relentless stream of attacks.

Richard Keogh headed wide from Mascarell's free kick after six minutes in the first opening.

Ten minutes later Derby took a deserved lead when Shotton headed home another free kick from the Spaniard after Matt Doherty was booked for bringing down Simon Dawkins.

Wolves' best spell of the first period came just before the mid-point of the half.

They threatened briefly on 19 when Bakary Sako whipped a first-time curling effort narrowly over the bar from their first corner, taken by James Henry.

And their best opening of the first 45 minutes came five minutes later when Saville was presented with a clear chance from Ricketts's cut-back after excellent work by Sako to release him in the left.

But the former Chelsea midfielder could only fire well wide from a good position in the centre.

Two minutes later Sako, more in hope with limited options ahead of him, sent a bouncing effort a yard wide of the far post.

But Derby responded in emphatic fashion by doubling their lead.

This time Hendrick raced into the space in front of him and held off a challenge from Lee Evans before unleashing a firm low drive that flew past Carl Ikeme.

From there, it seemed Derby grew in confidence and Wolves wilted in the rain.

Russell's angled shot was deflected off Ricketts and looped over the bar.

And from the resulting corner, it was 3-0 when Russell was allowed the freedom of the Wolves box to drill home after the defence failed to clear Mascarell's flag-kick.

Derby continued to pile forward and Keogh's glancing header flew across goal and just off target before Chris Martin curled a free kick a couple of feet over the bar.

Wolves made a change at half-time with Richard Stearman on for Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

But it made little difference as Derby continued their onslaught.

Hendrick grabbed his second on 55 in the first chance of the half when he took advantage of space that opened up in front of him by sidefooting home after his superb run was picked out by Will Hughes just outside the box after an interception deep in the Wolves half.

Three minutes later, there was a glimpse of a consolation for the visitors when Clarke's angled left-foot drive was deflected against the foot of the post and behind for a corner.

From the resulting flag-kick taken by Henry, the ball was headed away as far as Kevin McDonald, who lashed a few inches over.

Wolves continued to battle to get on the scoresheet and Saville forced a falling save from Jack Butland from 25 yards on 73.

Substitute Liam McAlinden, who replaced Clarke on 67, glanced inches wide from Sako's cross in a rare attack for the visitors.

But their efforts were all in vain as they were well beaten.

All Wolves had to show for their efforts was the unflinching support from their 2,561 fans, who stayed right to the end and continued to back their team and show good humour on a difficult day.