Tom Lawrence at the double as resurgent Derby brush aside Blades

County saw off Sheffield United to move off the foot of the table.

By Press Association Published: 15 January 2022 - 5.23pm

A terrific Tom Lawrence double earned battling Derby a 2-0 win at home to Sheffield United to boost their hopes of pulling off a great escape yet further.

Lawrence stamped his class on the game in the second half with two outstanding goals to lift County off the bottom of the Championship table.

The Wales international delivered the quality the game had been crying out for by leaving two defenders in his wake before sliding the ball past Wes Foderingham for the opening goal after 69 minutes.

Lawrence then sealed victory nine minutes later with a precise finish from the edge of the area to end United’s run of four straight league wins.

Victory made it 13 points from their last five games for administration-hit Derby, who moved above Barnsley and are now just eight points from safety.

The in-form Blades started brightly, breaking quickly in the 12th minute, with Iliman Ndiaye pulling the ball back from the right to Billy Sharp, but his shot was charged down by Richard Stearman.

There was a scare for United two minutes later when Foderingham carried the ball outside his area under pressure from a Derby player, but referee Martin Atkinson ruled he had been fouled.

Derby almost caught United out in the 24th minute when a goal-kick from Ryan Allsop put Lawrence in on the left but his pass went harmlessly across the area.

United had a great chance in the 31st minute when a long throw was flicked on to Sharp, unmarked six yards out, but he headed straight at Allsop.

A half high on effort but low on quality ended with Lawrence winning a free-kick just outside the area, but he was unable to clear the defensive wall.

The pattern continued in the second period, with few openings until Derby won a corner in the 62nd minute and Craig Forsyth looped a header across goal and just wide.

It needed something special to break the deadlock and it duly arrived through a brilliant individual goal from Lawrence.

Picking the ball up on the left, he cut inside past two defenders before placing a low shot across Foderingham and into the bottom corner.

It was a superb effort and Lawrence produced another nine minutes later to put Derby in sight of another victory.

Festy Ebosele broke forward at pace and, when the ball was played across to Lawrence, he curled a shot from the edge of the area into the top right corner.

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