pre-season friendly action from the Pirelli StadiumDerby County ran out 2-0 winners with goals at the end of each half to continue their impressive pre-season form and leave Albion still looking for a win in the build up to the new campaign. It was, however a good workout for Gary Rowett's men who enjoyed good spells with the ball but were undone when Chris Martin found the net in the final moments of the first half and Conor Sammon headed home from close range in the last minutes of the second period.
Burton fans got their first sighting of new striker Rene Howe and there was a first Pirelli Stadium appearance as a Brewer for Rory Delap. Phil Edwards and Chris Hussey, new signings in the summer also played in front of the Burton fans for the first time.
Derby fielded their new summer signings Lee Grant, John Eustace and Johnny Russell along with returning loanees Chris Martin and Craig Forsyth who have now signed permanently with the Rams.
Jamie Ward had the first crack at goal in the opening minutes with a free kick from 22 yards out to the left of goal but his fizzing drive went over the angle of post and bar.
Rene Howe had an early strike on goal after making room on his left foot but quickly closed down his shot was blocked inside the area. Albion quickly had a second attempt as a superb cross from Hussey on the left found Michael Symes getting above his marker to head towards goal with Lee Grant fumbling and catching at the second attempt.
Brewers old boy John Brayford was even closer to the opening goal on 16 minutes. Some intricate passing created an opening for the right back who unusually was in the left channel in the area and he curled a shot inches over the bar.
Johnny Russell was looking very busy in the Derby front line and he set his sights on goal midway through the half but watched as his shot flew wide of the upright.
Some great link up play on 33 minutes almost gave Derby the lead as Jamie Ward skipped past Matty Palmer with a deft drop of the shoulder to leave his man for dead and a sliderule pass into the path of Brayford had the full back steaming into the penalty area only to blaze his shot over the bar.
Successive corners offered Derby another chance to open the scoring late in the half. Jamie Ward's cross was cut out by Rory Delap and the corner was half cleared to Russell who saw a shot on the turn blocked for another corner by Ian Sharps.
The Rams took the lead moments before the half time break when some intricate passing steered the ball into the feet of Chris MARTIN, he skewed the ball goalwards and although Dean Lyness got his foot to the ball he could only help it into the bottom corner of the net.
Half time: Burton Albion 0 - 1 Derby County
Albion made four changes for the second half. Chris Dunn took over in goal from Dean Lyness and Marcus Holness replaced Rory Delap with Phil Edwards switching to right back. In midfield Adam Reed took over from Alex MacDonald on the right whilst Dominic Knowles came on for Michael Symes in attack.
Some lovely link up play almost created the equaliser in the opening minutes of the second period. Knowles lay off allowed Howe to run into the box and when he squared it across Reed was denied by an excellent save from Grant, Richard Keogh doing enough on the line to prevent Knowles from poaching a goal.
Dunn made his first save with a routine stop to deny Jamie Ward who jinked his way forward to have a go at goal. Dunn initially spilt the ball from the force of the shot but claimed it at the second attempt.
Just after the hour mark there was another double change for Albion and a change of formation as Jimmy Phillips and Jack Dyer replaced Matty Palmer and Rene Howe as Albion went to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Derby also rang the changes as Conor Sammon, Ben Davies and Michael Jacobs all entered the fray just at the stage when a few meaty challenges went in despite the fact it was a pre-season friendly.
Albion looked lively in their new formation and one delightful crossfield pass from Reed gave Hussey the chance to race into the box down the left but after cutting back inside onto his right foot the former Coventry man fired the ball straight at Grant.
The Rams really should have doubled their advantage in the 82nd minute when referee Oliver Langford awarded a penalty. Substitute Jacobs raided down the left and was just caught late by Ian Sharps as he crossed the ball in. The former Northampton man stepped up to take the spot kick himself but could only watch as Dunn flung himself to his right to claw the ball away from the goal. An excellent save.
Lee Bell was given a rest for the final few minutes as Joe Doyle came on but it was a combination of substitutes for the Rams that sealed the result. Michael Hoganson's cross in from the left found Conor SAMMON unmarked and he thumped a header past Dunn from inside the six yard box.
BURTON: Lyness (Dunn, 46); Delap (Holness, 46), Sharps, Edwards, McCrory; MacDonald (Reed, 46), Palmer (Phillips, 61), Bell, Hussey (Harness, 77); Symes (Knowles, 46), Howe (Dyer, 61)
DERBY: Grant; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Hendrick, Eustace, Hughes; Ward, Martin, Russell.
Referee: Mr O.Langford (West Midlands)