Date:Wednesday September 17 2008
The Liberty Stadium
Attendance: 14, 003
Late injury worries forced changes in the starting line-up and a change of shape for The Rams but a workmanlike performance lead to a point returning from Wales with the team and another game without a defeat. Kris Commons and Rob Hulse were the players to miss out with Nacer Barazite coming in for his first start for Derby and Stephen Pearson making his first start of the season after his brief appearance from the bench on Saturday as Derby went one up front in Villa and a five man midfield to try and combat Swansea`s passing game.
The home side started the brightest of the two sides and played some neat football without any real threat up front whilst Derby struggled to keep hold of possession with a scrappy opening to the game. Nacer Barazite had the games first meaningful effort although his effort from outside the error didn`t trouble de Vries in the home goal. Butler, giving Connolly a hard evening down Swansea`s left, then beat the former Plymouth man before his shot again lacked accuracy as the game evened out.
Barazite moved back inside to play just off Villa through the middle and Paul Green moved back to his right-sided role as Derby tried to establish some authority in the game. His first contribution from the right was a cross that fell invitingly but Villa and Kazmierczak getting in each others way and the ball ending up wide of goal from a promising position. Addison and Green then combined well to set up Barazite who went close from 25 yards although his shot was always rising. Overall it had been a fairly uneventful first half with most of the football coming from the home side although Derby were establishing themselves more towards the end of the half without either side carving out any gilt edged opportunities.
The second half started with Butler again looking dangerous down the left but his good work came to nothing as his cross flashed across the area with no-one able to get on the end of the ball. Derby then changed things around by bringing on Nathan Ellington for Kazmierczak with Barazite switching to the left of midfield and Green moving back to the middle. Addison then brought the first save of the game from de Vries with a side footed effort that looked to be sneaking into the corner before it was touched over by the keeper for a corner.
Mark Gower came close at the other end with his 20-yarder crashing against the post with Carroll beaten only for Pintado to make a mess of the rebound when it looked like a tap-in and Carroll saved on the line. Derby promptly went down the other end and took the lead, Addison laying off to Ellington who slipped a neat ball through to Pearson who calmly finished for his first goal since Wembley. Bodde nearly equalized moments later bursting through midfield before firing over from the edge of the box.
Swansea were stepping the pressure up and Pintado couldn`t keep his header down from another Butler cross but the home site weren`t to be denied and equalized in the 73rd minute when Ashley Williams headed home virtually unchallenged from a Gomez corner, the second time in three games The Rams had conceded a straight forward goal from a corner.
The substitutions came thick and fast with Davies coming on for Villa and McEveley replacing Pearson as Jewell looked to tighten things up. Connolly and McEveley both received bookings as the game petered out to the final whistle with both sides seemingly happy for the point from a tough game.
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Date:Wednesday September 17 2008
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|5. Derby County||22||11||6||5||17||39|
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