Fearon pleased to see signs of progress against table-toppers
HEAD coach Roxy Fearon was happy with the improvement showed by his Derby side against table-topping Ampthill.
While rock-bottom Derby are still looking for their first win of the season, National League Three Midlands leaders Ampthill have only lost once so far this term.
So the outcome at Haslams Lane on Saturday came as no surprise to anyone.
However, Fearon, in his second match in charge, was able to take some positives.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
"We could have done better but it was definitely an improvement on the previous week," he said.
"I thought we got bullied a little bit up front.
"They scored four pushover tries and that's something we've got to work on.
"But there were positives to take from the game.
"We improved on the score the last time we played them by 20 points.
"We created four decent chances to score but we need to work on our execution.
"I'm not happy to have lost and none of the players are either but I was happy with the performance.
"We're taking small steps and there was a definite improvement."
The hosts welcomed back Eldon Atherton, while Nathan Burton replaced the injured Matt Down at fly half.
Ampthill ran in four tries in the first half, the first three coming from catch and drives near the Derby line, with the significantly bigger visiting pack proving tough to stop.
Former Tonga international hooker Vili Ma'asi scored twice, as did flanker Tony Begovic, to make the half-time score 24-0.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Derby tackling their hearts out and trying to play rugby when they got the ball.
Ampthill, though, showed why they are top of the pile by running in five more tries at regular intervals.
Former Derby player Sam Walsh was the first to cross, followed by Elliot Clements-Hill before replacement winger Dean Adamson scored a nine-minute hat-trick.
Derby were in danger of failing to score for the first time this season but a couple of tap penalties created space for Owen West to touch down, giving the home crowd something to cheer about.
Summing up proceedings, Fearon added: "Ampthill have got ambition and they are spending a lot of money.
"Good luck to them but we have to understand that we're obviously punching above our weight this season.
"Ampthill had an international hooker playing for them, which puts things into perspective!
"I thought our hooker, Jordan Goddard, did well, especially considering who he was up against.
"He didn't give up and tackled himself to a standstill, which was great to see.
"Ampthill coach, Paul Turner, said to me that we had showed a lot of spirit.
"I think they thought they were going to come here and score 100 points but they had to earn every single point."