Attendance: 20, 299
A David Wright header gave Roy Keane and Ipswich Town their first success of the season and, despite an improved performance by The Rams, it was another momentary lapse at the back that cost them dearly again. It was a scrappy game at Portman Road with Derby enjoying the better of the chances but they couldn`t find a way past Asmir Begovic and their poor run of form and wait for an away victory goes on. A poor clearance saw the ball returned into the area and the cross to the far post was met by Wright whose header beat Bywater and was enough for victory. The win wasn`t enough to lift Ipswich off the foot of the table but they closed the gap on the teams above them and Derby now sit worryingly close to the drop zone in twentieth only two points ahead of Plymouth in the final relegation place.
The Rams ever lengthening injury list saw Rob Hulse miss out with gastro-enteritis and Lee Hendrie ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up in training. Dean Leacock was not over his bout of mumps and Derby were only able to name five substitutes with Jake Buxton amongst them despite not being fit and Mark Dudley recalled from his loan at Alfreton Town to make up the numbers. Paul Dickov operated as a loan striker with Stephen Pearson back in for his first start since mid-September and Jake Livermore back in the line-up in a five man midfield with Lee Croft dropping to the bench.
Ipswich looked nervy in the opening minutes with The Rams having the first chance of the game when Jake Livermore`s deep cross found Paul Dickov at the far post but his effort hit the side netting. The visitor`s were enjoying a good spell of possession without threatening to open the scoring but there were grumblings amongst the home fans as their side struggled to make an impact on the game. It took until the tenth minute until they had their first effort on goal but Jon Stead`s low drive failed to test Stephen Bywater.
Bryan Hughes` challenge on Alan Quinn saw shouts for a penalty turned down by the referee and Alex Bruce got his head to a Frederick Stoor cross to take it away from Stephen Pearson as he looked set to pounce. Another Stoor cross on twenty minutes was flicked away from Jake Livermore as he closed on the ball as Derby continued to have the better of the game.
Jon Walters had a chance for the home side when he got his head to a Stead cross but his effort looped harmlessly over the top. Gary Teale then dragged a shot wide of the target at the other end after cutting in from the left and Alex Bruce had another firm header from a corner gathered on the line by Bywater as the game neared halftime. Robbie Savage had the last shot of the half with his long range effort being tipped wide by Asmir Begovic in the home goal as the sides went in goalless at halftime.
Stephen Bywater turned away another Alex Bruce header at the start of the second half as Ipswich looked for the breakthrough and Paul Dickov had a chance at the other end but his effort from a Dean Moxey cross was turned away by Begovic although the assistant`s flag was already up for offside. The on loan Portsmouth keeper was called into action again to turn away Gary Teale`s shot from the edge of the area and when the resulting corner was cleared as far as Bryan Hughes his floated cross looked to be heading for the top corner until his finger tips pushed the ball to safety again.
Dean Moxey made space for himself down the left but his effort was crowded out by Ipswich getting men behind the ball. The home side made a double substitution on the hour mark with Pablo Counago and Tamas Priskin coming on in place of Jon Stead and Liam Trotter as Roy Keane tried to engineer a victory for his side. Six minutes later they took the lead after Derby failed to clear their lines and when the ball was pumped back into the area David Wright rose highest at the far post and his header found the back of the net despite Bywater getting his hand to the ball and the home fans celebrated with the possibility of a first victory of the season edging closer.
Ipswich were playing with a new found confidence and Tamas Priskin whistled a long range effort just wide of the mark before Bryan Hughes had chance of his own at the far post when Robbie Savage`s cross found him but his effort was straight at Begovic who turned it behind for a corner that came to nothing. Frederick Stoor charged down an attempted clearance from David Wright and the ball fell to Paul Dickov but he couldn`t keep his effort down and it sailed harmlessly over.
Begovic turned a thirty yard effort from Dean Moxey over the top and a Gary Teale cross picked out Shaun Barker but his header was just wide of the mark as Derby couldn`t find the break through to get themselves back into the match. Lee Croft and Greg Mills came on in quick succession inside the last ten minutes with Jake Livermore and Stephen Pearson the players to be replaced as Nigel Clough`s side desperately tried to find the equaliser although Tamas Priskin was next to threaten as he was played through on goal only for Stephen Bywater to stand up well to deny the striker and Paul Connolly cleared to safety.
There were groans around the stadium when the board went to indicate four minutes of added time but it wasn`t until this was virtually up that The Rams managed to fashion a chance of note when the ball came to Bryan Hughes in the area but his volley was narrowly over the top as Roy Keane`s side held on for their first victory of the season amidst the celebrations inside Portman Road.