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Blackpool beaten

Derby County
4 - 1

Pride Park

18/02/09 19.45

Attendance: 26, 834


A strong finish from The Rams saw them take a deserved three points from the visit of Blackpool even if the score was little harsh on the visitors in the end. The seasiders put in a hard working performance but the match winners in the Derby squad were the difference in a game they dominated for large periods only for the goals to come in a rush at the end. With the score tied at 1-1 with fifteen minutes to go Kris Commons took charge firing in a superb goal before turning provider for Paul Green and Nacer Barazite topped that with a run from deep and deflected finish that gave him his first goal in a Derby shirt and tied up the 4-1 victory.

Nigel Clough made one change to his side bringing in Jay McEveley for Jordan Stewart at left back and Stephen Pearson was missing via injury whilst Blackpool were captained by former Derby loanee Rob Edwards and Ian Evatt was on the bench for the visitors. The Rams started brightly and Gary Teale threatened early on with a strike from 30 yards that Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks grabbed at the second attempt. The keeper was heavily involved on 8 minutes as the home side took the lead as a ball forward was headed back towards goal by a Blackpool defender. Gilks came out to chase the ball but was easily beaten to it by Rob Hulse, the Derby man had been forced wide but cut the ball back from wide on the by-line and Kris Commons finished into the open net from six yards with his right foot.

Derby were playing all of the football and continued to push forward with some neat touches shown by the front pairing of Hulse and Commons but their momentum was hit on 12 minutes when Gary Teale was withdrawn with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Steve Davies. The youngster was involved straight away forcing a corner and Commons second attempt at a cross was met by Hulse but the striker`s header came back off the bar. Commons was then involved again on 23 minutes when he tricked his was forward before firing in a shot from outside the area that Gilks saved comfortably down low.

Blackpool were struggling to make an impact on the match and a rare break lead to a corner wasted by a heavy delivery by Vaughan but his next delivery from a set piece turned the game on 30 minutes. He lifted a ball from deep into the box and Rob Edwards rose unchallenged to head into the net with the visitor`s first real effort on target. Miles Addison was replaced shortly afterwards after pulling up with what looked like an ankle injury and, although Derby regained some of their momentum, the game reached halftime all square somewhat against the run of play.

The second half started with The Rams trying to regain their dominance and Rob Hulse had shouts for a penalty turned down before Kris Commons had another effort from outside the area well saved by Gilks. Blackpool were back in the game however and O`Donovan had a chance but couldn`t get enough power or direction into his shot and Barazite`s effort at the other end deflected off Hulse but straight into Gilks` arms as the game swung back the other way. DJ Campbell used his pace to good effect and when he played the ball square Gary Taylor-Fletcher managed to fire narrowly wide from ten yards out.

Commons was prompting all of Derby`s attacking moves and his run was halted by a foul on the edge of the box and he picked himself up but couldn`t keep his free kick down. Fox fired over at the other end when a Vaughan corner was cleared to him 20 yards out and Campbell broke the offside trap on 70 minutes but took his shot early and could only fire into the side netting.

Derby went back in front three minutes later and Commons was again the man to change the match, he picked the ball up wide on the right before cutting inside and beating his man and curling a left foot effort high into the far top corner of the net leaving Gilks with no chance. Commons again broke forward moments later and slipped in Davies but the youngster`s weak effort was a comfortable save for the visitor`s keeper.

A free kick wide on the right was again taken by Commons on 79 and his wicked delivery was headed home by Rob Hulse only for the linesman to raise his flag, presumably for offside in front of the keeper and deny the striker another goal. Hulse looked to break forward moments later only for Commons to take the ball off his toe and try an effort from ten yards inside the Blackpool half with Gilks off his line but the ball dropped over the bar. Derby were not to be denied and Hulse laid the ball off to Commons who measured a ball Paul Green, breaking from midfield, and Derby`s number four rolled his finish into the bottom right hand corner to tie up the match.

Not to be outdone Nacer Barazite then bagged his first goal in a Rams shirt, picking the ball up deep on the right off the pitch he ran down the touchline before cutting infield beating defenders with ease before hitting a left foot effort that took a deflection and beat Gilks into the corner to put the gloss on a 4-1 win that leapfrogged Derby above their visitors.

Star Player

Kris Commons
Ran the show from his central role having the freedom to drop deep for the ball and tied together all of Derby`s best moments. Scored the first and second before setting up Green for the third, showed how capable of changing a match he is.

Player Ratings

Stephen Bywater 7

No chance with the Blackpool equaliser and a fairly quiet night, came off his line well at times to deny the visitors a chance.

Paul Connolly 7

Solid at the back and got forward well to combine with Barazite down the right.

Jay McEveley 7

Couple of nervous moments but generally solid and used the ball well.

Miles Addison 7

Went off with an ankle injury, looked to be dominating at the back until then.

Martin Albrechtsen 7

Won his share in the air and read the game well although he played some aimless balls forward at times.

Gary Teale 6

One good run and shot early on before going off with a hamstring injury.

Robbie Savage 7

Looks to be settled in the middle of the park and keeps things simple on the ball.

Paul Green 7

Took his chance well at the end and deserved something for another non-stop display.

Nacer Barazite 7

Not one of his better games but had more of an impact when Derby were on top and scored a great goal at the end.

Kris Commons 9

Scored the opener and changed the game when it looked as though it could end in a draw in the last fifteen minutes scoring again, setting up another and directing things as The Rams won.

Rob Hulse 7

Denied another goal by an offside flag and was in a physical battle with the Blackpool backline, no help given by some strange refereeing decisions but led the line well.

Steve Davies 6

Looked to be off the pace and strangely ineffective with the ball getting caught under his feet on numerous occasions.

Lewin Nyatanga 7

Seemed to have a settling effect on the centre of defence when he came in, another assured display.

Chris Porter 6

Short cameo once the game was over.

Date:Friday February 20 2009
Time: 11:40AM

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Another really good report Mike, I just wish more people commented on them as the quality deserves more comment. Keep them coming though as I'm sure a large amount do read, even if they're not commenting.
23/02/2009 16:28:00
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