Attendance: 7. 352
Defensive lapses cost Derby County at Glanford Park in a game they could and perhaps should have at least gained a point from against Championship new boys Scunthorpe United. The Rams twice pulled themselves level after falling behind and were on top of the match for large periods of the second half only to again present the home side with a clear goal scoring opportunity which was accepted by Martyn Woolford to tie up all three points with a little under ten minutes remaining.
Paul Green and Jay McEveley returned to the starting line-up in place of Ben Pringle and Steve Davies and there were places on the bench for a number of players returning from injury with Shaun Barker, Dean Leacock and Rob Hulse named in the match day squad for the first time in the league this season alongside Kris Commons after his midweek international appearance for Scotland.
Scunthorpe United started brightly but the Derby backline stood firm and the visitors had the first effort on target after Gary Teale made a run down the right but Jay McEveley could only the turn the ball back into Murphy`s arms from within the six-yard box at full stretch. Both sides looked up for the physical challenge with some hefty challenges going in meaning flowing football was at a premium for extended periods.
The home side took the lead on seventeen minutes when Woolford found room on the edge of box and hit a firm drive that Bywater could only parry back into the path of Gary Hooper who made no mistake from a few yards out. The Rams were only behind for three minutes though when a Stephen Pearson through ball found Paul Green and he cut back inside his marker before curling a low shot into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
iles Addison saw a diving header fly just over the top as Derby kept their early momentum going but they were lucky to survive on twenty six minutes when Hooper broke through with only Bywater to beat but he dragged his effort inches wide of the target. Hayes then went close after shrugging off Jake Buxton but the striker fired wide from a promising position.
ooper found a clear route to goal again only for Bywater to block inside the six yard box and Green dragged his effort wide when well placed as The Rams caught the home side on the break. Just as Derby appeared to have made it through to the break all square Hooper again burst clear and this time his effort found the net off the far post to put Scunthorpe back in front after a high tempo first half.
either side made a change during the break and the game picked up where it left off with both sides giving it everything but chances being at a premium. Jay McEveley gave way to Kris Commons eight minutes into the second period and his prompting saw Derby gain control of the match and begin to push Scunthorpe back.
aul Green was brought down inside the area on the hour mark by Murphy with the referee having no choice but to point to the spot and Kris Commons stepped up to draw his side level by slotting home in front of the travelling Derby faithful. A Commons cross eluded Murphy in the home goal but was cleared off the line by Jones with Green and Croft looking set to pounce.
erby were well on top but looking edgy at the back when Scunthorpe broke forward on rare occasions and Commons saw a header saved from a Croft ball from the right. Rob Hulse made a welcome return to The Rams side with twenty minutes to go after recovering from a groin injury and a bout of sickness in pre-season.
t was the home side who went back in front somewhat against the run of play with eight minutes remaining when Woolford broke away down the right and had time to cut inside and fire a low shot past Bywater. Derby pushed forward in search of a third equaliser with the clock ticking down and Shaun Barker came off the bench to play alongside Hulse through the middle with two minutes remaining but, despite four minutes of added time, they couldn`t forge another opening and Clough`s side fell to their first league defeat of the season.