BY SAM SMITH
Former Crystal Palace forward Chris Martin netted the only goal as Derby County knocked out the Eagles in the third round of the FA Cup.
The 31-year-old steered past Wayne Hennessey midway through the half as Roy Hodgson’s side exited the competition in abject fashion. Luka Milivojevic’s second-half red card only made matters worse.
Brandon Pierrick, 18, made his full debut after his starring cameo against Norwich on New Year’s Day and started brightly against the Rams. His driving run ended with him forcing a great save from Kelle Roos inside the first few minutes, before he won a dangerous free-kick which Milivojevic wasted.
Pierrick was just eight months old when a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney made his Everton debut in 2002. The new Derby player-coach sat deep in midfield and walked through the game at a slow tempo, akin to a testimonial.
Rooney was involved in the build up to Louie Sibley firing Derby’s first effort high and wide.
And it was the visitors who eventually took the lead just after the half hour. Martin Kelly and Jairo Riedewald failed to intercept Jayden Bogle’s cross and former Eagles forward Martin slid in to turn the ball past Hennessey.
Hodgson lost Max Meyer to injury just before half-time with the German appearing to clutch his ankle before hobbling off. It was perhaps inevitable that there would be injuries given eight of the 10 starting outfield players played at least some part in the draw with Norwich.
James McCarthy had two chances either side of half time while Connor Wickham fired over 10 minutes into the second half.
Bogle should have put Derby two ahead on the hour but headed wide from close range.
Palace were reduced to 10 men soon after when Milivojevic tangled with Tom Huddlestone and extended his foot towards the Derby midfielder. Referee Michael Oliver initially gave a yellow card but upon VAR review, the Serb was sent off. It was petulant from the Palace captain, who now misses the next three games.
Hodgson’s side barely threatened a comeback. Martyn Waghorn struck the post in added-time for Phillip Cocu’s side. This was a tired performance from the Eagles, although that can be put down to the gruelling festive period played with such a tiny squad.
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