Attendance: 27, 144
Gary Teale gave Derby County a deserved victory at Pride Park with a goal six minutes from time although they made hard work of beating ten man Bristol City after some wayward finishing. City`s captain Jamie McCombe was sent off for two bookings in two second half minutes for fouls on Rob Hulse and there was only going to be one winner after that as The Rams created chance after chance but failed to hit the target until Teale cut inside and fired in low to Basso`s right from the edge of the box. His side comfortably saw out the last few minutes to put an end to a run of four straight defeats and take the three points on an afternoon when they could easily have had three or four with more composure in front of goal.
Nigel Clough made one change to the starting line-up after the defeat at Selhurst Park last Saturday with Shaun Barker coming in to the centre of defence to partner Dean Leacock with Mile Addison dropping to the bench alongside Fredrik Stoor who joined on loan from Fulham just before the midday deadline. James Vaughan made his first home start and there was a warm reception for Lewin Nyatanga on his first return to Pride Park after joining City in the summer.
City had the first opportunity of the match within two minutes when a ball into the area found Saborio completely unmarked but his header was saved at point blank range by Bywater and Leacock and Barker managed to get bodies in the way of the loose ball to deny Robins and Bywater fell on the ball to deny the visitors. The Rams fought their way back into the match with Lee Croft and Dean Moxey both having crossing opportunities but being unable to pick out team-mates.
Robbie Savage was full of running and he superbly closed down Jamie McCombe to disposes the City defender and after an exchange of passes broke into the area and squared to James Vaughan but the young loanee sliced his shot wide of the mark. City then had two shots of their own with Bradley Orr curling a left foot effort narrowly wide of the mark and Evander Sno firing just past the other upright from just outside the area with Bywater at full stretch.
A poor clearance from Basso, who was having trouble with his kicks, saw the ball nodded to Rob Hulse and he turned and ran at goal but he fired wide from a tight angle with James Vaughan up in support. The striker then came close when he turned and curled in an effort from the edge of the box that was inches wide of the mark with Basso beaten. Saborio then had another glorious chance when he broke the offside trap but Shaun Barker made ground well to get back and put in a goal saving challenge with the ball bouncing behind for a corner. Vaughan then had the last effort of the half with a low effort that was easily gathered by Basso but it had been a much improved performance by Nigel Clough`s men in the opening 45 minutes.
James Vaughan had the first effort of the second half when neat footwork gave him room on the edge of the area but Basso was again equal to it. A Lee Croft cross then found him in the area but McCombe got a foot in to knock the ball to safety and City`s captain received a yellow card moments later after he was beaten by Rob Hulse in the corner and he hauled the Derby striker down as he turned toward goal but Gary Teale wasted the free kick. Rob Hulse collected the ball on the opposite side of the area and knocked it past McCombe only to be crudely brought down leaving the referee with no option but show him his second yellow card in less than two minutes to leave his side a man short.
Lewin Nyatanga came off the bench to another round of applause from the Pride Park faithful in place of Saborio and went straight into the centre of the visitor`s defence with Danny Haynes then replacing Lee Johnson as City looked to adapt to their numerical disadvantage. Derby then made their first change of the afternoon with James Vaughan coming off after running himself into the ground with Paul Dickov replacing him.
The Rams were well on top but City looked to hold firm with Nicky Maynard up front on his own looking to capitalise on any slips but another poor clearance by Basso found Croft and he opted to run with the ball but whipped a firm effort just wide of the mark with the keeper scampering to get back although there were two defenders back covering by the time he shot. Paul Dickov was the next to have a chance when Livermore escaped down the right and cut into the area and pulled the ball back to the diminutive Scot but he span and shot wide of the mark when he looked destined to score.
Gary Teale was next to try his luck with an overhead kick but it again didn`t seriously threaten Basso`s goal and Lee Hendrie came off the bench with twelve minutes to go to replace Jake Livermore who had an effective came in the middle of the park. Paul Dickov found room in the area but couldn`t get enough direction on his shot as The Rams desperately sought the goal that would surely win them the match. Lee Hendrie had a glorious chance from twelve yards when the ball broke to him in the area but he fired wide of the mark and it was left to Gary Teale, who had been the focus of some of the crowd`s frustration, to secure the three points. He ran at the visitor`s defence down the left before cutting inside and firing in a firm right foot drive that beat Basso low to his right as Pride Park exploded with the relief.
Lee Hendrie fired in an effort from the edge of the area that was easily gathered by Basso and Paul Connolly`s back header saw a collective intake of breath but it dropped just the right side of the post for the former Plymouth man. Miles Addison came on for Croft as the game reached the ninety minute mark but The Rams easily saw out the four additional minutes to record their first clean sheet at Pride Park and their first win in a month.