Attendance: 7. 267
Poor defending left Derby with too much to do at Bloomfield Road this evening as Blackpool came out on top after a thrilling second half to win 3-2 and claim all three points in a game that could have quite easily ended with either side on top and The Rams perhaps a touch unfortunate to not claim a point. An even first half was turned in The Seasider's favour when some shaky looking defending from the visitors allowed them to take a two goal lead into the break. A more determined looking Derby came out in the second half and Commons` beautifully curled free kick put them back in the game only for Blackpool to restore the two goal lead through Burgess with Barazite down after a heavy challenge. Mile Sterjovski saw his first action of the season and scored his first Derby goal with twenty minutes to go but despite mounting pressure The Rams were unable to find an equaliser and tasted their first defeat in eight matches.
Stephen Bywater and Claude Davies kept their places in the side with Lewin Nyatanga missing out in favour of the returning Dean Leacock and Kris Commons was fit to start on the left after his knock at the weekend. Rob Hulse picked up an early booking after a collision with Shaun Barker left both players needing treatment, they were both fine to continue and Hulse was soon involved again but he fired wide from an Ellington cross after good work from Paul Green and Kris Commons had freed the striker. Keith Southern had the first effort for the home side with a shot from 25 yards that skidded off the turf but was held comfortably by Bywater in the end.
Derby were enjoying the possession but The Seasider`s were looking to find gaps on the counter attack and Taylor-Fletcher had an effort blocked by Connolly, as the ball fell to Gow the Blackpool man wanted too long and Stewart got back to whip the ball of his toe as he took a touch before shooting. Barazite then fed Ellington at the other end but, after beating his man, the striker fired well wide of the target. Barazite then threatened himself cutting in from the left but his effort was wide of Rachubka`s near post when the youngster perhaps could have done better.
Taylor-Fletcher fired wide from the edge of the box but Blackpool took the lead minutes later through Alan Gow, a ball up to the edge of the area was contested by Davies and Vaughan with the ball breaking to Gow who finished well leaving Bywater with no chance in the Derby goal. Barazite had a chance at the other but he volleyed over from just outside the area but Derby`s defence was rocked again minutes later when Gow found space in the box to flick to Gary Taylor-Fletcher who finished after cutting in from his position wide on the right. Burgess very nearly made it three on the stroke of half-time but his shot grazed the outside of the post with Bywater beaten.
Derby came out looking to get back into the game in the second half and started strongly, Barazite went close with a curling effort and Ellington forced Rachubka into a sharp low save and The Rams hauled themselves back into the game via Kris Commons just before the hour mark. Having been fouled looking to cut inside Commons took the free-kick himself and his effort curled over Rachubka and into the net to put Derby back into the match. Commons was looking dangerous again moments later but his powerful effort from range was headed away by Edwards.
Just as they looked to pull level Derby were caught on the break by a counter attack that gave Blackpool their two goal lead back. Barazite took a heavy challenge that left the Arsenal youngster on the ground and the home side broke with Southern firing in a low cross that Burgess turned home from ten yards to restore the two goal cushion. Barazite was stretchered off with his left leg strapped and was replaced by Mile Sterjovski for the Australian`s first appearance of the season.
The Rams stepped up the pressure again and Blackpool were struggling to get out of their own half without conceding any clear cut chances and they broke to good effect with Burgess forcing Bywater into a low save to keep Derby in the game. The visitors were then handed a lifeline back into the match when a mix-up on the edge of the box between Rachubka and Coid gave Sterjovski the chance and he clipped the ball home to pull the deficit back to one goal and set up a tense finish.
Paul Jewell took off Claude Davies and introduced Tito Villa as his side went in search of an equaliser but Blackpool almost tied the game up when they broke only for Bywater to save well from Martin in a one-on-one when a square ball must surely have produced a fourth goal. Five minutes of overtime were signalled and despite Derby piling the pressure on they were unable to come up with an equaliser and they fell to their first defeat in eight matches.
Almost got The Rams level in the second half and looked their biggest threat throughout, found the net for the first time in a Derby shirt and will be looking to be back to his best ready for the visit of our old friends a week on Sunday.
Stephen Bywater 7
Paul Connolly 7
Jordan Stewart 5
Claude Davies 4
Dean Leacock 6
Nacer Barazite 7
Miles Addison 6
Paul Green 7
Kris Commons 8
Rob Hulse 7
Nathan Ellington 7
Mile Sterjovski 7
Tito Villa 6
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