You can read how Fulham slumped to a fourth consecutive defeat courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.
2.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's Championship clash between Derby County and Fulham. Both sides began the season with automatic promotion aspirations, but it is fair to say that things have not quite gone to plan so far. They will both be looking to kick-start their campaign at the iPro Stadium today, so we should have an entertaining encounter on our hands. First things first, let's have a look at the two lineups...
2.32pmDERBY STARTING XI: Grant; Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Eustace, Hendrick, Bryson, Russell, Ward; Martin
2.32pmDERBY SUBS: Roos, Dawkins, L Naylor, Whitbread, Hughes, Best, Mascarell
2.34pmFULHAM STARTING XI: Joronen; Hoogland, Bodurov, Burgess, Kavanagh; Roberts, Parker, Stafylidis, R Williams; Woodrow, McCormack
2.34pmFULHAM SUBS: Bettinelli, Hutchinson, Eisfeld, Kačaniklić, Voser, Dembélé, Hyndman
2.36pmSo, what can we make of those two teams? Well, the hosts have made two changes to the side that lost to Charlton in midweek, with Eustace and Russell coming in for Hughes and Dawkins. Best and Mascarell are once again left on the bench, despite the latter being tipped to make his first start for the club today. Joel Ward, meanwhile, will be looking to add to the two goals he netted against the Addicks last time out.
2.38pmFulham, meanwhile, make just the one change to their side despite falling to another defeat at the hands of Wolves on Wednesday. Williams comes in for Fotheringham in midfield, with Woodrow given a vote of confidence by Magath, partnering £11m man Ross McCormack up front. Magath made five changes for that Wolves match, and more were expected today, so it is something of a surprise for him to have only brought in one new face.
2.40pmDerby came so close to making the step up to the Premier League last season, losing the playoff final in the 90th minute thanks to a Bobby Zamora strike. Initially, there appeared to be no hangover from that as they won their opening two matches of the season in all competitions, but they have since drawn and lost, making for an underwhelming start to the campaign.
2.42pmTheir first loss of the new season came on Tuesday as Charlton edged an action-packed match 3-2. Derby were the entertainers of the division last season but had got off to a modest start, with just one goal being scored in their first two league matches. McClaren will certainly be happier with the 1-0 wins than the 3-2 defeats, but it appears that the Rams have not quite shed their entertainers tag just yet.
2.44pmMcClaren will not be too pleased with what he has seen from his team as a whole so far, though. They were less than convincing in edging to a 1-0 win over Rotherham on the opening day, while they squandered a lot of chances in a 2-0 victory over Carlisle in a cup. A goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday was next up, and that was a match that the Rams may have expected to win. If they are to fulfil their pre-season ambitions then they will need to improve over the next few months.
2.46pmTheir home form is likely to be key to any success this time around, just as it was last season when the Rams finished third with the fourth-best home record in the division. Only the three teams that ended up being promoted to the Premier League could boast a better points haul than Derby's 46, and they will be hoping to make it six from a possible six this season today.
2.48pmFulham, meanwhile, have struggled to adapt to life back in the Championship having been relegated from the Premier League last season. They were expected to challenge for top spot in the league having invested heavily over the summer - most notably spending £11m on Ross McCormack - but have lost all three of their matches so far and are one of just two teams - alongside troubled Blackpool - to have not picked up a point in the Championship so far.
2.50pmThis is by no means an easy match for them to change that record, and a fourth straight defeat could see the pressure begin to mount on Felix Magath. The Cottagers went through three managers last season, so Magath will know that he doesn't have too long to turn things around. While you can't win the league in the first six games you can go a long way to losing it, and Fulham are in danger of doing just that.
2.52pmThe big problem at Fulham at the moment is getting the players to gel on the field. There has been a massive overhaul of personnel at the club, and so far this season it has been evident that many of the players have not played together before. McCormack, for example, was the league's top scorer last season but is yet to open his account for his new club. Indeed, Fulham as a team have only scored once in their opening three games, and no-one has netted fewer.
2.54pmSo bad has been the start for Fulham that Magath felt it necessary to apologise to the fans after the Wolves defeat. He will be confident that it is just a matter of giving his new signings time to gel, but in football nowadays time is a precious commodity not often afforded to managers. The Cottagers may well have been expecting nine points from matches against Ipswich, Millwall and Wolves and, new players or not, to have come away empty handed from each of those is hugely disappointing.
2.56pmOf course, it is still very early days in the Championship season, and victory this afternoon would significantly alter the mood around the club. However, they had a poor away record in the Premier League last season, winning just four matches, and their winless streak stretching back to the last campaign now stands at seven games. The Cottagers have not tasted success since a 1-0 win over Norwich back in April. However, they are unbeaten against Derby in their last eight meetings since a 1-0 defeat in 1984.
2.58pmPREDICTION: We're nearing kickoff at the iPro, which means that it is time for my prediction! Fulham really are in a slump right now and this is one of the toughest matches that they will face all season. Before the campaign began this fixture looked like a close one to call, but now I can't see Fulham suddenly clicking to get a result. I'm going for a 3-1 home win for the Rams.
3pmIt has been a baptism of fire of Fulham's youngsters so far in the Championship, and this one won't be any easier. Seven of their starting XI are 21 or younger, and it is a huge ask for such an inexperienced side to succeed here.
1 minKICKOFF: The hosts get us underway at the iPro Stadium as they look to pile more misery on Fulham's woeful start to the season.
3 minCHANCE! Big chance for Derby to take an early lead, and what a goal it would have been. Ward and Christie link up down the right flank before the latter picks out Russell with a cross. The winger is in acres of space inside the box and unleashes a powerful first-time volley that whizzes narrowly off target.
5 minSHOT! The first sign of Fulham threatening as Woodrow picks up the ball just inside the opposition half before running a long way without being challenged. He is invited to shoot and duly accepts, only to drag a tame effort well wide.
7 minThis has been a very promising start from Derby, who have taken complete control of the game already. They are looking dangerous when they come forward, with the right flank yielded particular joy for the hosts. Ward has been heavily involved and Christie is also getting forward well from right-back.
9 minFulham fans may have been fearing the worst after that start, but they have eased their way into the match in the last few minutes and are beginning to show promising signs of their own. It has been a good opening 10 minutes or so.
11 minBoth teams are playing at a decent tempo, but we are yet to see a good chance since that Russell volley. Woodrow had that shot which went wide but, other than that, the game has largely been played in the middle third.
12 minSAVE! Stafylidis works space to cross the ball from a straight angle, but he feeds a dangerous one into the box. The Derby defence can't cut it out and it nearly catches Grant off guard, but the keeper gets down well to stop it.
13 minSAVE! Christie gets forward well down the other end once more before cutting into the penalty area. His initial cross is cut out, but the ball falls back to the marauding right-back, whose subsequent shot it straight at the keeper.
15 minThis has been a fairly even game so far, with both sides looking capable of threatening when they get the ball in the final third. We have still only had that one clear chance, but both teams will be encouraged with how they have started this match.
17 minWard has looked bright for Derby so far, and that right flank is where the hosts look most threatening. However, they switch things up here by attacking down the left, and the ball is just about turned behind for a corner following a dangerous cross from Russell.
19 minDerby are now on top and Fulham have been forced into a couple of last-gasp clearances in quick succession. The hosts are peppering the Fulham box with crosses at the moment, but so far the visitors have been able to hold out.
21 minThe hosts have had the better of things in the opening 20 minutes, but one of their problems this season has been making the most of periods when they are on top. Again here they have failed to score so far, but there is still plenty of time for that to change.
23 minGOAL! Derby 1-0 Fulham (Jamie Ward)
23 minYou just can't stop this man scoring right now! Having netted twice in defeat on Tuesday, Jamie Ward opens the scoring here with a lovely strike. Christie combined with Russell on the right, and the latter clipped a fine cross into the box to find Ward's diagonal run. The winger still had a lot to do, however, and he produced a superb finish, hooking his volley into the roof of the net. Very good goal.
25 minSAVE! Russell looks to get his own name on the scoresheet as he cuts inside onto his left foot before firing an effort towards the corner from 30 yards. This one is comfortable for Joronen, though, as he gets his body behind the ball to make the save.
27 minBoth Russell and Ward have caused problems for Fulham down the flanks so far, and it was no coincidence that those two combined from the goal. It also wasn't a shock to see it come from the right wing as that is where Derby have had most of their joy this afternoon.
29 minIt is important for Fulham that they don't let their heads drop now. They have a young team who, as things stand, are heading for a fourth straight defeat at the start of the season, so it would be easy for them to become disheartened. However, they are only a goal down and there is plenty of time to go, so they are still very much in this match. They need to improve if they are to get back into it, though.
31 minFulham are needing to rely on set pieces to threaten at the moment, and with Stafylidis whipping some dangerous deliveries into the box it could be a profitable route. Christie makes a fine clearance from a free kick to concede a corner, but nothing comes of that.
33 minThe visitors are beginning to see a bit more of the ball now, keeping possession better than they were previously doing. That has allowed them to get a foothold in the game now, and they will be looking to build on that.
35 minNow it's Derby's turn to keep the ball well. That is clever play from the hosts as they wrestle control of the match back from Fulham, preventing the visitors from gaining any momentum.
37 minStafylidis picks the ball up around 25 yards from goal and drills a low effort towards the bottom corner. It is heading wide, but Buxton can't get out of the way in time and ends up slicing it behind for a corner. However, once again it comes to nothing.
38 minSHOT! What an audacious attempt this is! McCormack spots Grant off his line from a long way out and goes for a sensational lob, but the Derby keeper gets back in time to make the stop. What a way that would have been to get your first goal for the club.
40 minFulham are enjoying another decent spell here as they continue to grow into the match. They still haven't carved out a really good chance to test Grant, however, as Derby's defence continues to deal with the danger fairly comfortably.
42 minChristie has been working tirelessly down the right in this first half. He has burst forward at every available opportunity and Fulham are struggling to deal with his overlapping runs.
44 minFulham will be encouraged with how they have ended this first half. They can't have too many complaints at being behind at the break, should they fail to get an equaliser, but a good spell of possession in these closing stages will make them more optimistic about the next 45 minutes.
45 minThere will be just the one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
45+2 minHALF TIME: Derby County 1-0 Fulham
45+2 minHALF TIME: Derby County 1-0 Fulham
3.56pmIt's advantage Derby at the break as the hosts go into half time with a 1-0 lead. It is a deserved scoreline, with the Rams having carved out the best chances in the match, although Fulham did work their way back into the game as the half wore on.
3.58pmThe goal came from Jamie Ward, who hooked his volley past Joronen having been picked out by Russell's clipped pass. It was a lovely goal, with the cross and finish both perfect as the Rams' two main dangermen linked up to devastating effect.
4pmRussell came close himself after just three minutes when he was left unmarked inside the box. It was Christie who picked him out at the back post, but the winger's powerful volley was narrowly off target. That chance and the goal both came from Derby's right flank, where they have threatened almost every time they have come forward. It is an issue that Magath will need to attend to in the second half.
4.02pmFulham have been disappointing again so far, failing to unduly worry Grant. It says a lot that their best chance came from a Ross McCormack effort from inside his own half as he stopped the Derby keeper off his line and went for a speculative lob. He almost pulled it off as well, but Grant got back in time to make the stop under his crossbar.
4.04pmThe star performers from that first half were Derby's Russell, Ward and Christie, who combined on numerous occasions to threaten down the flanks. The right wing was the main source of success for the hosts, but Ward has also caused problems down the left since switching flanks midway through the half.
46 minKICKOFF: Fulham get us back underway at the iPro as they look to get back into this match and pick up their first point of the season. Can they do it or will Fulham hold out?
47 minJoronen needs to be on his toes early on in the half as he is sold short by a poor back-pass. The keeper just about reacts in time to beat Ward to the ball, but that was a shaky start to the half from the visitors.
49 minGood play from Roberts down the right as he twists and turns his way past Forsyth to reach the byline. He has space to cross the ball, but his low delivery is comfortably dealt with. That final ball has just been lacking at times for Fulham today.
51 minDerby have a free kick in a promising position, but Bryson chooses to pass it back to Ward instead. The duo then exchange passes before the latter somehow squeezes a very dangerous cross into the box. Keogh rises to meet it, but can't get over the ball and puts his header too high.
52 minSHOT! Russell threatens again he as he lines up Hoogland before quickly shifting the ball onto his left foot and unleashing a powerful effort towards goal. He can't keep it down, however, and the shot goes whizzing over the top.
54 minGOAL! Derby 1-1 Fulham (Scott Parker)
54 minFulham have their equaliser! McCormack's initial free kick is straight into the wall, but the ball bounces back out to the Scot, who puts it into the area. Stafylidis shows good strength to hold off a challenge and lay the ball back for Parker, who picks out the bottom corner with a calm finish from the edge of the box.
56 minWHAT A MISS! Oh my word, Derby have a glorious chance to restore their lead immediately! A low ball in from the right flank eludes everyone in the middle until it comes to Martin at the back post. The striker has an open goal to aim at, but somehow he puts his shot over the bar. In fairness to Martin, he was at full stretch, but that was still a sitter. You may not see a worse miss all season.
58 minIt was Hendrick who delivered that low cross into the box, drawing the keeper out of his goal. Moments later Martin has another half-chance inside the box, but this time his touch is easy for the keeper to collect.
59 minGOAL! Derby 2-1 Fulham (Craig Bryson)
59 minFulham were level for all of five minutes as Derby restore their lead just before the hour mark. It is another lovely goal as Russell cushioned a cross back for Bryson, who volleyed home.
61 minGOAL! Derby 3-1 Fulham (Chris Martin)
61 minDerby have two goals in as many minutes, and it is Martin who has made up for his earlier miss. The big striker was played in down the right channel and cut inside onto his left foot before drilling a low effort under the keeper. What a response from Derby, who look to be well on their way to three points now.
63 minFULHAM SUB: In the midst of those goals, Fulham made a change, bringing on Kacaniklic for Stafylidis. It looks like it won't be long before Magath turns to his bench again either.
64 minCLOSE! Derby are really on a high here, and they almost make it four through Martin again. Ward put an enticing ball into the box and the striker attacked it really well, sending a header inches wide of the post.
66 minWell, if the criticism of Derby so far this season has been their failure to kill teams off when they have the chance, that can't be said for this second half. They smelt blood after their second goal and immediately pushed on for that third. They are still in search of more too.
67 minCLOSE! Fulham almost pull a goal back through Hoogland, who rises well to latch on to a corner. His downward header goes just past the post, but the man on the line looked to have it covered anyway.
68 minFULHAM SUB: That proves to be Hoogland's last action as he makes way to be replaced by Kay Voser.
70 minWorrying signs for Fulham as McCormack is down and clutching the back of his head. The striker was caught from behind by a retreating Christie having stepped into the Derby player's path. It was an accidental collision, but a painful one nonetheless for the Scottish striker. He should be able to continue, though.
72 minPoor from Joronen as he tries a simple pass, only to put the ball straight out of play. Suddenly, having been in possession and ready to launch another attack, Fulham must face an attacking throw themselves. Really poor play from the keeper. McCormack, meanwhile, is back on.
74 minDerby win the ball back in a dangerous position but just can't create space to shoot, with Fulham scrambling back well to crowd the hosts out and clear the danger.
76 minFulham need to change things up if they are to stand any chance of getting back into this match.n They only have 15 minutes left but are still not committing enough bodies forward when they win the ball back. They need to throw caution to the wind right now, time is running out.
77 minGreat play from Ward as he scurries in from the right flank, beating his man and playing a dangerous low ball towards Russell. Voser is in the right place to clear the ball, however, as Fulham survive.
79 minAlmost a lovely ball from the back to release Ward, who timed his run behind the defence to perfection. The ball just skims off the surface and away from the Derby attacker, however, allowing it to run through to Joronen.
80 minFULHAM SUB: The visitors make their third and final change of the afternoon as Thomas Eisfeld replaces Williams.
82 minMcCormack is cutting an increasingly frustrated figure up front for Fulham. There is a lot of pressure on his shoulders given his £11m move during the summer, and he is still looking for his first goal for his new club.
83 minDERBY SUB: Russell has been superb this afternoon, and he is given a standing ovation here as he makes way for Simon Dawkins.
84 minDERBY SUB: Steve McClaren quickly follows that with a second change, Will Hughes replacing Bryson, who scored Derby's second goal.
86 minGood goalkeeping from Grant as he stands firm to get a good fist on a high ball into the box. He was under heavy pressure from Woodrow inside the six-yard box, but the keeper still managed to clear the danger.
87 minGOAL! Derby 4-1 Fulham (Chris Martin)
87 minThings go from bad to worse for Fulham as Derby notch their fourth of the afternoon. The two subs combine as Hughes slides the ball through for Dawkins, who really should score himself. His low effort hits the post, however, and bounces straight back to Martin, who has the easiest of finishes into an empty net.
89 minGOAL! Derby 5-1 Fulham (Simon Dawkins)
89 minIncredible! Derby again hit Fulham with a quickfire double, making it 5-1 and piling more misery on the visitors. Again Hughes is the architect, sliding the ball through for Dawkins once more. This time the Jamaican makes no mistake with his own finish, however, slotting the ball into the far bottom corner. What a win this will be for the Rams.
90 minDERBY SUB: Having already scored five goals, McClaren opts to bring on another striker as Leon Best replaces the impressive Ward.
90+2 minThere will be four minutes of added time for Fulham to endure here. Derby, meanwhile, are playing like they want a sixth!
90+2 minHughes has put in a masterful cameo, but he is fortunate not to be booked here as he hacks Kacaniklic down from behind. Very lenient from referee Oliver Langford, who has not produced a single card in this match so far.
90+4 minSAVE! Derby are still pushing for that sixth goal as Dawkins picks the ball up on the right before cutting inside and shooting straight at Joronen, who holds on.
90+4 minFULL TIME: Derby County 5-1 Fulham
4.58pmWell, well, well, who saw that one coming? A Derby victory is not the most surprising result, but for them to dispatch of Fulham so comfortably raises serious questions about the Cottagers. Four second-half goals have helped the Rams to a 5-1 victory over the Londoners, who have now lost their first four games of the season. Where do they go from here?
90+4 minFULL TIME: Derby County 5-1 Fulham
5pmRight, that is all we have time for this afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was an action-packed match as Derby ran out comfortable 5-1 winners over struggling Fulham. Stick around for our match report and reaction, which should be interesting from the Fulham camp in particular. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!