Three players who shone for Derby against Bristol City

Republic of Ireland's Alex Pearce in action with Slovakia's Robert Mak

Derby County drew 1-1 with Bristol City in Saturday's Championship encounter.

General view of Derby County fans

Derby County went into the match at Ashton Gate having scored only goal in seven Championship matches this season.

When Ikechi Anya opened the scoring for the Rams on the stroke of half-time, County fans must have been rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

It looked as if no goals would be added in the second half and that Derby would have their second win of the season - the other being a 1-0 win away at Preston over a month ago.

Sadly for the Rams, Aaron Wilbraham cruelly equalised for Bristol in the 94th minute, depriving County of an all-important three points.

Here us a look at three players who shone for Derby.

Ikechi Anya

The 28-year-old scored his first goal for the club since his deadline-day move from Watford. 

Aden Flint mistimed a header back to Bristol goalkeeper Frank Fielding, with Anya alert enough to anticipate and take advantage of the error and lift the ball over Fielding, breaking a Championship goal-scoring duck for the Rams that began on 16 August.

Derby County's Ikechi Anya and Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie in action

Though some might say Anya was lucky to be gifted such a chance, he still had to find himself in the right place in the right time, and given the Rams' impotency in front of goal, the score was anything but a given. 

Anya, who appeared regularly last season for Watford in the Premier League, was a constant threat in the hour spent on the field (he succumbed to a rib injury first suffered in the act of scoring), setting up Will Hughes with a gilt-edged chance in the first half that he wasn't able to convert.

Rams fans will be hoping that Anya has begun a new trend and that the team will start finding the back of the net more regularly.

Matej Vydra

The 24-year-old Czech forward was making only his third appearance for the club since his move from Watford in August but was the biggest threat to the Bristol defence throughout the encounter.

Vydra put in a tireless shift for the Rams, though he probably should have added to Derby's solitary goal and sealed the victory for them, shooting wide once in the first half before an excellent save from Fielding in the second half prevented his presence on the score sheet.

Derby County's Matej Vydra looks dejected

As Vydra continues his acclimatisation at the Midlands club, his tireless work ethic will surely reap more rewards and he will take the chances he creates. 

Alex Pearce

For all of the talk about the cruel nature of Bristol's equaliser, a quick glance of the stats would suggest that Bristol had won the game.

However, a strong defensive effort from Derby limited Bristol to a solitary, heartbreaking goal, and the endeavours of Pearce played a huge part in this.

Republic of Ireland's Alex Pearce in action with Slovakia's Robert Mak

Bristol enjoyed 61% possession during the match, engineering 17 attempts on goal, but were well marshalled by Pearce, in cahoots with his defensive partner, Richard Keogh.

Pearce's character has come in for praise from his manager, and if he continues to put in performances such as this, Derby's fortunes may improve in the coming weeks.

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