Derby County 0 West Ham 5: Bowyer makes it another dark day for Derby

In hindsight, it was rather cruel of the organisers to make Derby County appear in the only Premier League fixture to be played at 3pm on this Saturday. After all, isolation at the bottom of the table is bad enough, and they really did not need to be pushed into another inglorious spotlight. Indeed, this performance was so shocking that a 2am kick-off on a Tuesday might have been more apt.

Not to take anything away from West Ham, who swaggered into the top 10 with this proudest of catwalks. Their win was as emphatic as it was welcome (this being their second victoryin their past seven League games). The East Enders have such pace, verve and blessed elan at their disposal that if and when they return to full strength, they will be some outfit.

Derby, in contrast, have a future that appears bleak until the season's end. Unless their manager, Billy Davies, can discover salvation in the January transfer window, that is.

He will have been comforted to read in the programme the assurances of the new chairman, Adam Pearson, that funds will be made available. The only question now is, how deep are the pockets? Davies can only pray the patience extends just as far.

His own certainly appears to be running out, despite the recognition that with three centre-halves and a left-back missing, and with a squad that is on the bald side of threadbare, there were mitigating factors.

"There is that as an excuse, but there is no excuse for the reaction after the first goal," said Davies. "In the first 20 minutes we had opportunities but after they scored it was men against boys." To be frank, the visitors did not have to do an awful lot to take the advantage into the break. Nolberto Solano's sweetlystruck free-kick was only denied by the bar on the half-hour,but no matter, as 12 minutes later Lee Bowyer capitalised on the Derby defence's incredible vanishing act by coolly drilling Carlton Cole's knock-down underneath the goalkeeper, Stephen Bywater.

In the meantime, Derby's challenge amounted to very little. In fact, slightly less than verylittle. It was soon to go lurching into the minus column, as West Ham, realising there was absolutely no need to play it tight, decided to make a day of it, scoring three times in eight minutes, four in 18.

The impressive Bowyer was involved in the second when being the straight man in a delightful one-two with Matthew Etherington – the winger beating Bywater in the 51st minute – and then grabbing his brace when applying the necessaries to Cole's cross in the 59th minute.

A few minutes earlier, Jonathan Spector had squeezed the ball under Eddie Lewis, who fell over his own feet on the line and comically nudged it in as a result. It was left for Solano to ram home the Rams' deficiencies, by this time locating the netting with a free-kick in the 69th minute.

And what of Derby's attacks? Erm, Kenny Miller did have one free header that drifted 10 yards wide. That summed up their day, as it threatens to sum up their campaign. They have now completed almost nine hours without a League goal, and unless they can find the target in their final League match of the month in two weeks' time, it will mean they would have failed to score in both October and November. That game happens to be against Chelsea. Ouch.

Davies' confidence appears undiminished, though, and afterwards Curbishley urged him to "dust himself down and hang in there". He intends to. "If I'd spent 30 or 40 million in the summer," barked Davies, "I'd be asking myself some questions." As it is, the fans are.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week