Last time the Rams hosted the Blades at Pride Park
The last time the Rams hosted the Blades at Pride Park, it was an historic day - well for then manager Paul Jewell. His side won 2-1 to record their first league victory in 37 matches and striker Rob Hulse hit the winner against his old club, and it was live on TV to boot.
It was striker`s first goal for the Rams since his £1.75m summer move from the Blades and brought relief for the under-fire Jewell, who had gone 28 matches without a league win since replacing Billy Davies as manager at the end of November.
The Rams took the lead on 23 minutes when a Kris Commons` cross from the left found Paul Green, whose header struck Blades' defender Matthew Kilgallon deflecting it wide of goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.
No one in the crowd of 28,473 - well except the Blades fans - was bothered who the goal was given to, they celebrated and Jewell's team were ahead for the first time in the league for the season.
But the lead last only three minutes, and after some poor defending allowed Greg Halford to cross to Darius Henderson, the striker heading home powerfully past Roy Carroll.
Both sides had chances as the half ended. First Blades midfielder Halford's curling free kick clipped the outside of a post and Billy Sharp's shot was narrowly wide. While at the other end a shot on the turn by Hulse forced a smart save from Kenny at his near post, then Emanuel Villa sent a header wide and Commons saw a low shot fizz wide.
Nacer Barazite, who was on a season-long loan from Arsenal, came on at the start of the second half for Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, and he was quickly into the action. He found Connolly whose cross was fired over by Addison before Derby were awarded a penalty only to have it taken off them in bazaar circumstances.
Addison again was heavily involved, bursting forward and threaded a pass through to Hulse who went down under a challenge from Kilgallon. Referee Chris Foy had no hesitation and pointed to the spot much to the delight of the Pride Park faithful, but he was surrounded by angry United players. Then after consulting with his assistant, he overturned the decision and gave a corner, saying that Kilgallon played the ball.
After everything they had been through it was a blow to the Rams but their heads did not drop, and when Barazite and Stewart combined a cross found Villa, whose header crashed against the bar but what proved to be the winning goal arrive on 71 minutes.
Villa found Barazite on the right and he pulled the ball across to Hulse, who seemed to control it with his hand before thumping home a left-foot volley, to send the Rams fans into ecstasy. The win lifted the Rams out of the bottom three.
Derby County 2 Sheffield United 1 - Saturday 13th September 2008
Derby County - GK Roy Carroll, Paul Connolly, Jordan Stewart, Martin Albrechtsen, Dean Leacock, Kris Commons (Stephen Pearson, 88), Paul Green, Przemyslaw Kazmierczak (Nacer Barazite, 45) Miles Addison, Tito Villa, Rob Hulse (Nathan Ellington, 85) (Subs not used - Stephen Bywater, Lewin Nyatanga,
Sheffield United - GK Paddy Kenny, Greg Halford (David Cotterill, 74), Gary Naysmith, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Darius Henderson, Sun Jihai, Gary Speed, Nick Montgomery, (Danny Webber, 83) Billy Sharp (James Beattie, 73), Stephen Quinn Subs not used - Lee Hendrie, Derek Geary
Referee - C. Foy (Merseyside)
Attendance - 28,473