Derby ease past Brentford for first league win since Christmas
Derby recorded their first Sky Bet Championship win since Christmas with a 3-1 win at Brentford.
The Rams could have been four up at the break but for some brilliant saves from Bees goalkeeper David Button.
But they got their reward in the end with three late second half goals from Jeff Hendrick, Cyrus Christie and substitute Chris Martin.
Alan Judge had opened the scoring for the hosts seven minutes after the break when he raced from half-way and fired an angled drive beyond keeper Scott Carson.
But Hendrick's controversial equaliser with 10 minutes to go gave Derby the momentum and they ran away comfortable winners.
If it was not for Button's performance in the first half, Derby would have had the game wrapped up by half-time.
He got down well to deny Hendrick with a superb double save after just four minutes and then reacted smartly to deny Darren Bent's snapshot four minutes later.
Judge provided some respite from a well-worked free kick where he curled a shot wide, before Button was again called into action.
He thwarted Bradley Johnson on the half hour with a superb reflex stop as Brentford's lack of presence in midfield repeatedly conspired to cause problems.
Johnny Russell was allowed to run fully 30 yards as the home defence backed off and his low drive was brilliantly tipped wide by Button.
Against the run of play it was Brentford who took the lead as they stepped things up in the second half, Judge running at the Rams defence and firing a dipping drive that nestled in the far post in the 52nd minute.
However Brentford looked toothless up front and as they dropped deeper and deeper as the game went on, the visitors always looked like getting back into the encounter.
It came with a bit of fortune - and with just 10 minutes remaining - when Martin's hand blocked a clearance from Harlee Dean and the ball fell for Hendrick, who made no mistake from 12 yards. Brentford's calls for handball were ignored by referee Darren Drysdale.
That was the turning point as Brentford's brittle confidence faded away and Derby began to look like they could end their barren run.
Darren Wassall's side took the lead three minutes later, Johnson firing in a low drive from the right which Button could only parry into the path of Christie who fired home from close range.
Brentford skipper Jake Bidwell's header deep into injury time was cleared off the line by Jacob Butterfield and the clearance fell for Tom Ince who squared for Martin to seal the points in added time.
The scoreline reflected the visitors' performance and Brentford, who have sold many of their better players since last season's success, were booed off at the end by an otherwise strangely subdued Griffin Park crowd.