Four second half Derby County goals were the difference as Morecambe were beaten 5-0 at Pride Park on Saturday afternoon.
David McGoldrick’s hat-trick with one goal just before the break and the other two shortly after half-time had the hosts 3-0 up; Goals from James Collins and Jason Knight ensured the win for Derby.
After a cagey opening 10 minutes, the Rams created the first opening of the afternoon when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired in a dangerous ball form the right which was tipped away by Shrimps' goalkeeper Connor Ripley.
Morecambe’s first effort came five minutes later when Arthur Gnahoua found some space on the edge of the Derby penalty area, though his long-range effort flew just over the crossbar.
Ripley was called into action on 20 minutes when McGoldrick fired an effort across goal from the right which was comfortably saved.
The hosts took the lead in the final minute of the first half when Hourihane played a free-kick short to McGoldrick who curled his effort into the bottom-right corner.
Half-time: Derby County 1 Morecambe 0
The Rams doubled their lead a minute into the second half when the ball fell to Mendez-Laing on the right of the penalty area who squared the ball to McGoldrick who, in turn, doubled his and County's advantage,
County were awarded a penalty minutes later when James Collins went down under Dynel Simeu’s challenge, McGoldrick converted from the spot to make it 3-0.
Ripley made an excellent save to deny Derby their fourth with half an hour to play when he kept out McGoldrick’s acrobatic effort from close range.
The hosts made it 4-0 five minutes later when James Collins converted Derby’s second penalty of the afternoon which was awarded when Farrend Rawson brought down McGoldrick.
The Rams rounded off the scoring three minutes later when Forsyth found Knight who rolled the ball into the bottom-right corner.
Derby came close to making it six when the ball was pulled back to substitute Harvey White whose goal bound effort was blocked by his team mate Korey Smith.
Some excellent defending from Liam Gibson stopped the Rams from adding to their lead with a succession of clearances off the goal line.
Full-time: Derby County 5 Morecambe 0
Derby County: Wildsmith, Forsyth, Hourihane (Thompson, 74’), Cashin, Collins, McGoldrick (White, 68’), Mendez-Laing (Barkhuizen, 68’), Smith, Roberts (Sibley, 74’), Dobbin, Knight (Springett, 74’).
Subs not used: McGee, Davies.
Goals: McGoldrick (45’, 47’, 50’), Collins (66’), Knight (69’).
Red cards: None.
Morecambe: Ripley, Love, Gibson, Rawson, Crowley (Bedeau, 80’), Stockton (Mellon, 80’), Gnahoua, Weir, Shaw (Austerfield, 80’), Mayor (Hunter, 85’), Simeu (Delaney, 80’).
Subs not used: Smith, Cooney.
Bookings: Gibson, Simeu, Austerfiled, Love.
Red cards: None.
Attendance: 26,035 (819 away).