FOOTBALL : Rob Hulse marked his return to Derby’s starting line-up by scoring the two goals that ended his side’s three-match losing streak as they recorded a 2-1 win against 10-man Coventry.
Rob Hulse marked his return to Derby’s starting line-up by scoring the two goals that ended his side’s three-match losing streak as they recorded a 2-1 win against 10-man Coventry.
The big striker, who missed last weekend’s defeat at Ipswich through illness, struck twice after the break to usurp the first-half lead given to Coventry by Leon Best and could have had a hat-trick – but his late penalty was well saved by Dimi Konstantopoulos.
Coventry finished the game with 10 men after Jordan Clarke was sent off just after the hour mark.
Coventry turned the tables at Pride Park by taking the lead within five minutes. Freddy Eastwood’s left-wing cross was headed goalwards by Best.
With players in front of him, Rams keeper Stephen Bywater opted to punch the ball but his clearance went straight back to Best who fired a volley into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
Paul Dickov looked certain to score the equaliser as he arrived on the six-yard line but the on-loan Leicester player somehow blasted his shot over the crossbar, but the diminutive Scot made amends after the break providing the assists for both of Hulse’s goals.
His diagonal cross into the box four minutes after the restart was brilliantly cushioned on the chest by Hulse who then flicked the falling ball beyond Konstantopoulos.
Dickov then retrieved Stephen Pearson’s cross to tee up his strike partner for a crisp first-time finish after 62 minutes.
Clarke’s was sent off a minute after Derby’s second goal after receiving a second yellow card for bringing down Robbie Savage. The defender had been booked in the first half for mis-timing a challenge on Dean Moxey.
Derby had the opportunity to ensure all three points with 10 minutes remaining when Chris Hussey, realising he was unable to intercept Gary Teale’s cross, nudged Lee Croft in the back leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty. However, Konstantopoulos got across to the bottom right-hand corner to save Hulse’s kick.