Davies to the rescue
St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 17, 567
Steve Davies came off the bench to grab his side a point at St Mary`s and the youngster nearly won the match with a curling effort that crashed against the inside of a post before bouncing to safety. After a bright start neither side managed to play the football that has seen them on mini-runs of their own and The Rams have now lost one in eight in the league and again showed their fighting spirit to come from behind. A corner fell to Chris Perry in the area and he smashed an effort against the bar before hitting Sterjovski and going in and Surman could have made it two minutes later. Steve Davies replaced Rob Hulse with just over ten minutes to go and he made an immediate impact with a headed effort and he then pulled Derby level when a sliced Martin Albrechtsen shot fell to him and he took a touch before smashing high into the net and he then struck the post in a frantic finish.
Loan signing John Eustace went straight into the starting line-up and took a place in central midfield alongside Robbie Savage. This meant Mile Sterjovski started just off Rob Hulse up front and there was a return for Andy Todd at the back in place of Jay McEveley with Martin Albrechtsen moving to left back to allow Todd to line-up in the centre of defence. Nacer Barazite had the games first effort on five minutes that Kelvin Davis did well to hold on to and Southampton went down the other end of the pitch and, when a corner was half-cleared to him, Morgan Schneiderlin curled an effort just over the top from 25 yards.
Neither side were creating many chances early on and a rare moment of danger on nineteen minutes saw a free kick into the Derby area hit Nyatanga and bounce into the six yard area but Bywater claimed well when Perry looked set to pounce. Barazite then escaped at the other end and put over a dangerous cross that Hulse met with his head but the effort flashed narrowly over and the striker got a header to a Barazite corner five minutes later only to see the ball again end up over the goal.
Jason Euell fired an effort narrowly wide before Gary Teale went for goal from a free kick but the ball went harmlessly wide and Marek Saganowski forced Bywater into a sharp save in the last effort of note in the half as the game had drifted from the lively opening from both sides.
Adam Lallana came on after the break for Schneiderlin but The Rams had the first effort of the second half when Gary Teale forced Davis into a scampering save from 25 yards. Rob Hulse then won the ball wide on the left before cutting in but Davis denied him with a fine save and the striker stabbed the rebound the wrong side of the post. The Saints took the lead just before the hour mark when a Gillet corner dropped to Perry who smashed an effort against the bar and it struck the heels of Sterjovski before entering the net.
Andrew Surman was well fed by David McGoldrick but the Southampton man dragged his effort wide of the mark and Derby brought on Nathan Ellington to play up front alongside Rob Hulse as they looked to get back in the game. The substitute had an immediate chance when Davis dropped a cross but a last ditch clearance from Skacel denied the front man. The Rams were on top but weren`t causing any danger going forward other than a couple of scrambled clearances.
A low ball from Barazite ended up just wide as Ellington and Hulse got onto the end of the cross and Derby`s leading scorer was replaced by Steve Davies with just over ten minutes to go and the youngster had a headed effort that was claimed well by the Southampton keeper. And moments later the former Tranmere man showed great composure when an Albrechtsen effort was miscued across the area and he took a touch before lashing high into the net to level the game up.
Przemyslaw Kazmierczak came on for the tiring John Eustace who had done well on his debut and Davies was inches away from giving the visitor`s the lead when his run down the right saw him beat Seajis before curling an effort across the goal but it struck the inside of the post before bouncing clear. Jason Euell had an effort just off target and Ellington had a shout for a penalty turned down as the game had a frantic finish but it finished at 1-1 with Nigel Clough`s men again showing their resilience to come from behind to grab a point.
Made an immediate impact when coming off the bench and his running and energy changed the game and very nearly gave his side three points. A well taken goal followed by a mazy run and shot that hit the post saw a welcome return to form for the former Tranmere youngster.
Stephen Bywater 7
Paul Connolly 7
Martin Albrechtsen 6
Lewin Nyatanga 7
Andy Todd 7
Gary Teale 7
Robbie Savage 7
John Eustace 7
Nacer Barazite 6
Mile Sterjovski 6
Rob Hulse 6
Nathan Ellington 7
Steve Davies 8
Przemyslaw Kazmierczak 6