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Six on the bounce

Norwich City
1 - 2
Derby County

Carrow Road

04/10/08 15.00

Attendance: 24, 771


A superb backs-to-the-wall performance in the second half from Derby County after going down to ten men and conceding an equaliser gave The Rams a second away victory on the bounce and helped the unbeaten run to reach six games. After a first half when there only looked to be one winner Derby came out for the second half a goal up and looking confident only for Roy Carroll to be dismissed for hauling back Leroy Lita and Sammy Clingan then converting the ensuing penalty to make it a tricky looking afternoon but after a brief flurry of Norwich pressure the visitors settled down well and looked to hit on the break. A blunder by the home keeper presented sub Nathan Ellington with the chance of a winner when charging out of his goal unnecessarily and the striker calmly rolled into the net from the angle to give Derby three points.

Steven Davies came in for the injured Stephen Pearson and Lewin Nyatanga kept his place at the Heart of The Rams defence whilst Leroy Lita went straight into the side for Norwich City with Lupoli dropping to the bench.

Darel Russell picked up an early booking for the home side with a challenge on Addison before Steve Davies long throw created havoc in the Norwich area, the ball eventually finding its way back out to the former Tranmere man who got a firm strike on the ball only to be denied by Marshall. In a lively opening Paul Connolly again showed his worth at the back with a block on Omar Koroma as he looked to get a sight of goal in The Rams area. Davies again looked to get in at the other end when running onto a Hulse flick but the ball wouldn`t quite sit down to allow a clean strike.

Dean Leacock picked up a booking after 21 minutes after a late challenge on Russell meaning he reached the five booking mark and will now miss the home clash with Plymouth in two weeks. Derby were dominating the match again without creating many clear cut chances but they took the lead after 25 minutes with the most straight forward of goals, Steve Davies swinging in the corner and Hulse rising highest at the far post to head firmly down and into the net for his second goal of the season.

Hulse then found himself in the book for leaving a foot in on Otsemobor and Koroma came close at the other end with a dipping free kick that was comfortably helped over by Carroll a few minutes later. Jordan Stewart made a dart down the left and his cross was glanced narrowly wide by the dangerous looking Davies as he looked to add to his midweek strike. The winger then beat his man out wide and fired over a dangerous cross but Hulse couldn`t quite get his effort on target as Derby continued their domination and they reached half-time good value for the narrow lead.

The game was turned on its head four minutes into the second half when a long ball was allowed to bounce towards the Derby area, Carroll came off his line just as Leroy Lita got his head to the ball and flicked it past the keeper only to be caught by the Irishman as he looked to apply the finish and the referee was given no choice but to point to the spot and the inevitable red card followed. Tito Villa was sacrificed as Paul Jewell brought on Stephen Bywater as the replacement keeper and after a word with penalty taker Sammy Clingan his first duty was to pick the ball out of the net as the former Nottingham Forest defender levelled the game at 1-1.

Norwich City, clearly gaining confidence from the equaliser, looked to step up the pace against the ten men of Derby and were dominating the possession but apart from a few dangerous crosses fizzing across the backline The Rams were looking solid at the back despite the numerical disadvantage. Derby looked to change shape slightly with Barazite making way for Przemyslaw Kazmierczak in a change that looked to push Davies further forward with three in the middle of midfield. The Pole`s first action saw him booked for a mistimed challenge on Russell before Davies was nearly through on goal only to be denied by a fine last ditch challenge from Bertrand.

Stewart then picked up another booking as the referee seemed intent on cautioning anyone capable of making a challenge and Derby made their final change of the afternoon replacing the tiring Davies with Nathan Ellington in a positive move from Paul Jewell. The changes were still flowing and Norwich City brought on former Ram Arturo Lupoli with ten minutes to go as they looked to gain a result from this encounter. Derby were certainly back in the match in terms of possession as their hard work gradually turned the game in their favour but it took a huge error of judgement from David Marshall in The Canaries` goal to gift the winner to the visitors. The keeper came rushing out to meet a long ball that he always looked second favourite for and as the ball broke Nathan Ellington controlled and rolled into the empty net from the angle of the area and the ball just had enough on it to give Derby the lead again.

Leroy Lita had a chance moments later as the home side nearly hit back immediately but the on loan Reading man couldn`t get his foot around the ball enough to get his effort on target. Bywater then held a Sibierski header as Derby held out for five minutes of injury time to clinch a second away victory in a row going into the international break.

Star Player

Miles Addison
Dominated the middle of the park denying the home side any room and time to play and helped drag The Rams back into the game after the equaliser, looks to have established himself in the engine room of the Derby midfield.

Player Ratings

Roy Carroll 6

Quiet first half followed by a rush of blood at the start of the second leaving the ref no choice but to award the penalty and show the red card.

Paul Connolly 8

Another storming performance down the right, his energy was vital whilst down to ten men and his runs down the right flank looked dangerous in the first half as The Rams dominated.

Jordan Stewart 7

Looked slightly more solid than usual and picked up a booking but still seems the weak leak at the back.

Dean Leacock 8

Picked up a booking that means he will be suspended next time out but other than that coped well with Lita and Sibierski to deny the home strikers any chances.

Lewin Nyatanga 8

Admirably calm at the heart of the defence and looked like a regular as he made his first league start of the season, looks to be heading back to his best form after being loaned out previously.

Nacer Barazite 7

Not his most effective game but kept the ball well when needed and always looks tidy in possession. Perhaps guilty of trying slightly too much at times but good to see him always willing to take his man on.

Miles Addison 8

Colossal in midfield and his partnership with Green continues to go from strength to strength, didn`t give the Norwich midfield a moments peace all afternoon and his physical presence helped The Rams control the midfield.

Paul Green 8

His running midfield again helped win the battle, especially when down to ten men, and his understanding with Addison is growing.

Steven Davies 8

Looked dangerous throughout the time he was on the pitch and came close on a number of occasions, looks to be gaining confidence game by game and a run in the side would do him good.

Tito Villa 7

Worked tirelessly alongside Hulse and was a touch unlucky to be replaced when Carroll was dismissed.

Rob Hulse 8

His sharpness appears to be returning slowly but surely and he won everything in the air against an admittedly weakened Norwich backline, hunger to win the ball led to the opener and he dominated the aerial duel.

Stephen Bywater 7

Did everything asked of him when brought on and commanded his area well and gathered all crosses that came his way.

Przemyslaw Kazmierczak 7

Immediately booked when coming on but settled well and kept hold of possession as Derby re-established themselves after Carroll`s dismissal.

Nathan Ellington 7

Added fresh legs when coming on and took his chance well after a mix-up on the edge of the area, will be glad to get off the mark in the league.

Manager Rating

Paul Jewell`s prediction of one win setting his team on a run is beginning to look more and more prophetic as Derby reached six games undefeated. His changes helped Derby get a foothold back in the game and the change of shape allowed attacking options to remain, Ellington took his chance well when brought on in a surprisingly attacking switch near the end leaving his side only three points off the play-off spots. Whilst Jewell is the first to admit the football being played by his side is not of the highest quality creativity wise the battling spirit and determination shown must please the former Wigan manager after some meek displays earlier in the season.

Date:Saturday October 4 2008
Time: 6:34PM

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and there was I thinking, a few short weeks ago, you lot were doomed :-)
04/10/2008 18:48:00
0 have turned it all around........ ;o)
06/10/2008 12:51:00
Not fully turned round yet is it, but we're going very much in the right direction. Great report MikeC.
06/10/2008 20:38:00
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