Carling Cup - Run Continues
Attendance: 18, 540
Derby County survived a scare against Leeds United to record a 2-1 win and reach the quarter-finals of a major cup competition for the first time since 1990. Seventeen minutes into the match it looked as though Derby would sweep aside their lower league opposition as they scored twice and looked to cut through the visitors defence at will. However, Leeds fought their way back admirably to monopolise possession for the second half of the first period and pulled one back just before half-time. They went on to dominate large sections of the second half without being able to find the equaliser and both sides came close in the final ten minutes as Derby held on to claim their place in the last eight ahead of the draw on Saturday with the visitors' extremely unlucky not to have at least forced extra-time.
Derby made changes ahead of the game with Roy Carroll returning in place of Stephen Bywater and Przemyslaw Kazmierczak taking over from the suspended Miles Addison. Mitch Hanson claimed a place on the bench alongside the returning McEveley with Andrejs Pereplotkins also named amongst the substitutes. The Rams' started strongly and were ahead five minutes into the match, Teale flicked on a Connolly throw into the path of Tito Villa who easily beat Michalik before finishing with his left foot past Ankergen in the visitors goal for his fourth goal in the last two Carling Cup matches.
Leeds were nearly back in it immediately with Fabian Delph pulling the strings before a cut back to Luciano Becchio saw the striker's shot well blocked by Connolly. Derby were continuing to look dangerous coming forward and were two up in seventeen minutes, Villa knocked the ball wide to Commons who played a quick one-two with Kazmierczak and cut into the box. As Ankergen came to meet him he slipped the ball sideways to Ellington who rolled the ball into the empty net to double the lead. Ellington then nearly created a third with a neat bit of skill but his cross was headed wide by Villa with Kazmierczak better placed behind him.
The visitors fought their way back well and started to enjoy some good periods of possession without threatening Derby's goal. Teale played Connolly in with a neat pass and the full-back cut the ball back well finding Villa but the Argentinean slipped as the pass found him and he couldn't get his effort on target. Roy Carroll was then forced into his first save of the match on thirty six minutes with Andy Robinson firing in a 20 yard shot that he smothered before grabbing at the second time of asking.
As they continued to dominate possession Leeds pulled a goal back on fourty minutes when Frazer Richardson was given time to get his cross in and Becchio beat everyone to the ball to power a header past Carroll. Delph then fired an effort just wide as his side searched for the equaliser but they went in a goal down at the break.
Ruben Zadkovich came on at halftime for Teale and Derby changed system switching to three in the middle with Commons and Ellington occupying the wide berths. The Australian was involved early as he bundled his way into the area only to lose control but Telfer's challenge lead to the ball rebounding goalwards and needing Ankergen to react sharply.
Claude Davis was pulled up for a foul on Becchio and Snodgrass curled a 25 yard freekick against the post with Carroll well beaten. Snodgrass was again involved on the hour mark as he beat Stewart and crossed low only for Carroll to deny Robinson with a superb save. Jermaine Beckford came on for Robinson on 63 minutes as Leeds searched for a route back into the game and the striker was quickly involved firing into the side netting from a tight angle before curling a 20 yarder wide moments later.
Davis picked up a booking in the 69th minute and Villa made way for Hulse as Derby looked to freshen things up and Snodgrass again got his effort from the freekick but Carroll grabbed the effort comfortably. The substitutions kept coming with Leeds replacing Kilkenny with Howson and Sterjovski taking over from Ellington for Derby.
Both sides were creating chances as the game entered the final ten minutes, Commons saw a freekick flicked to Davis who scuffed his shot but Zadkovich got his head to the ball to divert against a post and Sterjovski then hit the same post from the rebound. Carroll then saved another Snodgrass effort and Beckford came close with a dipping effort from out wide but Leeds couldn't find the elusive equaliser and The Rams' progressed into the last eight.