Derby County put in a much more solid showing at Blackpool to keep their first clean sheet of the season after some poor showings at the back in previous outings. The attacking football was not quite there but there were still chances for The Rams to snatch victory although Stephen Bywater was forced to make an outstanding save from Alex Baptiste to keep his side level in an entertaining closing period of the match.
Nigel Clough made two changes to his starting line-up after the defeat at Scunthorpe and brought in Rob Hulse and Kris Commons to rekindle their partnership up front with Paul Green and Jay McEveley the men to miss out. Ex-Ram Ian Evatt started for Blackpool who also included new loan signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the bench after joining from Arsenal.
Derby started brightly and made the early running and had the first effort of the match when Ron Hulse met Robbie Savage`s cross but his header was straight at Paul Rachubka in the home goal and Charlie Adam then fired in a long range effort at the other end but this was easily dealt with by Stephen Bywater.
The Rams were still seeing plenty of the ball with Gary Teale and Lee Croft probing down the flanks but clear cut chances were few and far between as both sides looked solid at the back. In fact the home side had the next real opportunity when just after the half-hour mark when Brett Ormerod beat Dean Moxey down the right and pulled the ball across the six yard box but Jason Euell was inches away from connecting.
Alex Baptiste fired over the top shortly afterwards as Blackpool began to reassert themselves on the match and was involved in a bout of handbags with Robbie Savage in front of the travelling Derby fans which saw both players receiving a stern talking to by the referee but neither side could manage the break through as they reached the break goalless.
Mile Addison had the first effort of the second period but his diving header from a Commons free kick was wide of the mark as The Rams opened brightly again and he had another effort two minutes later when he rose to meet a Lee Croft corner but his header was off target again. Rob Hulse then showed good strength to hold off Rob Edwards but his effort was over the top without really troubling Rachubka.
Paul Green came on for Lee Croft after sixty-six minutes for the visitor`s first change with Gary Teale taking his position on the right and Stephen Pearson moving to the left. Stephen Bywater was called into action with a superb save to deny Alex Baptiste as his 25-yarder looked bound for the bottom corner as the game began to open up more going into the final stages.
Commons nearly played in Pearson but his through ball was slightly ahead of the midfielder and Buxton headed just over from another Commons cross as Derby continued to threaten from dead balls. Luke Varney came on for Rob Hulse with in the final ten minutes and Jay McEveley replaced Kris Commons with ninety minutes showing on the clock as the game petered out to a goalless draw. Nigel Clough will be pleased with a much more solid looking display although the creativity going forward shown in the previous games was not quite there for his side.
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