McGoldrick’s brace keeps Derby in play-off hunt
Two goals from experienced striker David McGoldrick helped Derby to a 2-1 win at injury-hit Exeter and kept their play-off hopes alive.
After a rather tepid first half of few chances, the Rams were much improved after the break and broke the deadlock after 52 minutes. Will Aimson was penalised for a foul on McGoldrick 25 yards from goal, Conor Hourihane laid it off and McGoldrick curled a brilliant effort into the far corner.
Exeter, missing their three leading goalscorers this season, rarely looked a threat in attack, although Pierce Sweeney tried his luck from distance but was denied by Joe Wildsmith, while Max Bird was off target for Derby with an effort from distance.
The Rams continued to look the most likely to score and so it proved in the 76th minute when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing played the ball into his path, he shifted it onto his right foot and drilled the ball into the net from eight yards.
Exeter rallied and substitute Jack Sparkes nodded in from on the line two minutes later after Wildsmith let Josh Key’s cross slip through his fingers, but despite plenty of late pressure from the home side, they could not find an equalising goal.