Round-up: Reich gets it right for Derby

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The Independent Online

Derby County have had to contend with colliding promotion ambitions in their first three matches of the Coca-Cola Championship season and they have finally started to suggest that their own plans to secure a Premiership place are not wildly optimistic.

Derby County have had to contend with colliding promotion ambitions in their first three matches of the Coca-Cola Championship season and they have finally started to suggest that their own plans to secure a Premiership place are not wildly optimistic.

After defeats by Leeds United and Leicester City, things started to look up yesterday when Marco Reich scored twice to help them to a 3-2 victory over their manager George Burley's old club, Ipswich Town. But it was far from plain sailing. He put County ahead after 33 minutes with a powerful header, but by half-time they were behind. Tommy Miller equalised with a penalty after Ian Westlake was fouled, and two minutes before the break Dean Bowditch pounced on a back-pass to put Ipswich ahead.

Derby emerged from the break reinvigorated. Iñigo Idiakez, their new signing from Spain, put them level in the 58th minute with a free-kick that he bent into the top corner, and seven minutes later Reich struck the goal that handed the Rams their first win of the season, and Ipswich their first defeat.

It was a similar scenario at the New Den where Leicester lost 2-0 to Millwall, and with Preston losing 2-1 at Gillingham and Stoke only managing a draw at Rotherham, Plymouth stayed clear at the top after their narrow victory at Cardiff on Friday.

Gillingham are now their nearest challengers, thanks to Iwan Roberts' winner at the Priestfield Stadium. Some consolation for Preston came from Ricardo Fuller. Rejected by Portsmouth because of lingering knee trouble but since cleared to play, the Jamaican equalised in the first half after Darren Byfield's opener.

Reading are also only a point off the pace set by Plymouth after James Harper scored the only goal of their match at Sheffield United with a spectacular volley into the top corner from 20 yards.

Stoke are fourth courtesy of Ade Akinbiyi. Tony Pulis, his manager, said he had his worst game of the season at Rotherham "but you keep him on because you know he will score goals". He equalised in the 85th minute after on-loan Paul Shaw's opener. Surprisingly on their tail are Burnley after Ian Moore tap-in gave them a 1-0 win at Watford. It was unbeaten Burnley's first victory under Steve Cotterill.

At the bottom, promoted Queen's Park Rangers were denied victory at Sunderland by Steve Caldwell, who headed home a corner as the match went into added time. The 2-2 draw, after they had led twice, left QPR ahead of only Brighton, who had Adam Virgo to thank for their first point of the season. He equalised a minute from time after Stephen Hughes apparently set up Coventry City for victory in the 59th minute.

Crewe Alexandra were similarly denied at Nottingham Forest where Marlon King's powerful header deprived them of three points after leading twice.

Colchester United maintained their strong start to the League One season by sending Peterborough United to their first defeat this term. An own goal by Craig Ireland after 64 minutes maintained their perfect start with a 2-1 win. They lead Luton Town on goal difference after the Hatters won a see-saw match at Barnsley 4-3. After trailing 1-0, they romped 4-1 ahead.

In Scotland, Rangers beat Livingston 4-0, their new signing Dado Prso scoring his first goal to launch the rout. Stephen Hughes scored twice.

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