Blues looked to be on their way to claiming a point, before The Rams struck with two late, late goals.BCFC
Blues looked to be on their way to claiming a point, before The Rams struck with two late, late goals.
Graeme Shinnie had fired Derby ahead after just six minutes before Ivan Sunjic levelled for Blues after the break.
But with the hosts pushing for a winner they were undone twice without reply. Morgan Whittaker headed home in the 87th minute and then in the first minute of stoppage time Louie Sibley put the result beyond doubt with a neat finish
The game also saw a final appearance in Blues colours for teenager Jude Bellingham ahead of his big money move to German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. And the 17-year-old demonstrated his worth with an inspired and mature performance until his late substitution.
Blues made one change from the Preston game at the weekend with Jeremie Bela starting in place of Scott Hogan, who dropped to the subs’ bench.
Blues started brightly and were putting Derby under pressure in the early stages.
The first attempt was fashioned by the hosts when Bela tried his luck from distance, but the winger’s shot was well off target.
But against the run of play Derby took the lead in the sixth minute.
The ball was crossed into the home area, but Marc Roberts failed to put any distance on his clearance and it went straight to Shinnie – brother of former Blues midfielder Andrew, who made no mistake in lashing it home into the bottom corner of the net.
With just over a quarter of an hour on the clock, Derby were forced to swap goalkeepers after Kelle Roos was accidentally caught on the head by Lukas Jutkiewicz and was forced off, to be replaced by Ben Hamer between the sticks.
Within minutes of his introduction Hamer pulled off a brilliant save to deny Bellingham from close range after he met Colin’s accurate cross.
Blues were beginning to build up a head of steam and Bellingham was on target with another shot, but Roos collected it comfortably just inside his own post.
Almost all the play was taking place in Derby’s half of the pitch, and Bellingham was desperately close to levelling the scores when first he stabbed the ball across the front of the goal line and then he headed against the bar.
Bela should have done better after he was played in by Sunjic, but he drilled his shot wide of the far post.
But Blues had to be grateful to Camp at the other end from preventing them falling further behind after Knight was played in on the right of the Blues box. The Derby man tried his luck with a fierce shot, but Camp did excellently to tip it behind for a corner.
Derby had a golden opportunity to go 2-0 up just seconds before the half-time whistle after they burst forward on the counter-attack and Waghorn was through with just Camp to beat but he lobbed the ball over the ‘keeper and onto the roof of the net.
Half-time: Blues 0 Derby 1
Blues started the second-half positively and got the ball into the Derby box on several occasions in the opening exchanges.
And they were rewarded just before the hour mark with a deserved equaliser through Sunjic following a corner.
The ball was swung into the far post where it was headed back into the danger zone by Roberts.
Wayne Rooney swung at the ball but mis-kicked it and it dropped to Sunjic who fired home a clean left footed shot into the back of the net.
With 65 minutes played Derby made a triple substitution.
But buoyed by their leveller it was Blues that were looking the more likely side to find the winner.
And Jutkiewicz was not far away from connecting with the ball deep inside the Derby area.
With 75 gone Bellingham was substituted by Blues after suffering from cramp.
But once again Blues were victims of their own downfall as another defensive mistake cost them dearly.
Kristian Pedersen was dispossessed by Whittaker as he attempted to shield the ball out on his own by-line.
Marriott fed the ball to Whittaker and although his initial attempt was saved by Camp, the ball rebounded to him and he headed home.
Things got even worse for Blues minutes later as they conceded a third goal into stoppage time when Sibley fired home a great strike from outside the box.
Blues: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Crowley (Kieftenbeld, 79), Jutkiewicz, Bela (Fernandez, 90), Dean, Gardner (Hogan, 90), Bellingham (Boyd-Munce, 75), Sunjic.
Subs (not used): Trueman, Harding, Bajrami, Burke, Reid.
Goals: Sunjic (57).
Derby County: Roos (Hamer, 16), Shinnie (Whittaker, 65), Waghorn (Sibley, 65), Clarke, Martin, Rooney (Evans, 65), Davies, Bogle, Knight, Bird, Buchanan.
Subs (not used): Forsyth, Jozefzoon, Marriott, Lowe, Brown.
Goals: Shinnie (6), Whittaker (87), Sibley (90+1).
Referee: Tim Robinson.