Attendance: 7, 183
The lowest ever Pride Park attendance of 7,183 witnessed Nigel Clough`s side scrape through to the fourth round after a penalty shootout victory over a hard working Millwall side. Neither side could find the breakthrough in the ninety minutes with Chris Porter`s effort that came back off the bar the closest either side got and the extra period couldn`t separate the teams with both sides putting in the effort but lacking that little bit of guile to open up the oppositions defence. There was action in the second period of extra-time when Steve Morison was first to his own rebound after a header from a corner to fire the visitors in front but a clinical finish from Steve Davies restored the parity and Dean Moxey scored the winning penalty in the shootout after Bywater saved from Schofield to hand his side a home tie against either Doncaster or Brentford in the next round.
There were two changes to the Derby side embarrassed by Scunthorpe United at the weekend with Nicky Hunt unavailable under the terms of his loan and Rob Hulse dropping to the bench. They were replaced by Lee Croft and Kris Commons, a scorer in the first tie, respectively with Paul Green moving to right back and Croft lining up on the right of midfield. There were also places for the returning Steve Davies and Shaun Barker on a strong looking bench for The Rams.
Stephen Pearson had the first opportunity of the match after a quiet opening when Lee Croft fed him in midfield and he burst through the Millwall backline but he never looked confident when confronted with David Forde in the visitors goal and his finish was straight at the keeper. Both sides were effectively cancelling each other out with chances at a premium and Chris Porter was next to threaten on twenty minutes when he met Lee Croft`s clipped cross but his firm header flashed wide of the target.
Lewis Grabban had Millwall`s first effort on target when his shot from just outside the area was deflected but Stephen Bywater was equal to it and saved to his right as the shot changed direction. Miles Addison was then forced off with a recurrence of the foot injury that has hampered his season so far with five minutes remaining in the half and he was replaced by Shaun Barker who made his first appearance in a little over six weeks. Chris Hackett fired in an effort from twenty five yards as halftime approached but Bywater was equal to it and Kris Commons came close at the other end with an effort from a similar distance but this flashed wide of the post as neither side could find the opening goal before the break.
Commons was the first to threaten in the second half when he got on the end of a clever chipped pass from Lee Johnson but he was at full stretch and although he lifted his effort over Forde as he came out he couldn`t get enough direction on his effort and it dropped wide of the target. Steve Davies came off the bench to replace Lee Croft on the hour and was immediately involved when Forde failed to keep hold of a Derby corner but his shot on the turn was smothered by the visitors defence and hacked to safety.
The second period was as tight as the first with Millwall working hard to deny The Rams time on the ball and Derby`s own lack of confidence evident at times with a number of misplaced passes. Stephen Pearson made room for himself down the left on sixty-seven minutes and drove in a low cross that was met by Chris Porter but his effort crashed against the bar before bouncing to safety and was the closest either side had come to breaking the deadlock so far.
Gary Teale replaced Commons with ten minutes to go and the winger was immediately involved when he whipped in a cross from the right that was met by Steve Davies but his diving header was gathered by Forde at his near post. Millwall had the chance to go in front when they won the ball back in the middle of the park but David Martin decided to shoot when Steve Morison was unmarked in the area and would have had a clear opportunity had the ball been squared to him. Morison then had a chance himself when he rose highest to meet a Danny Schofield cross but his header was straight at Bywater and despite some late pressure and a flurry of corners Derby couldn`t find the elusive break through and the referee blew his final whistle signalling an extra thirty minutes.
Steve Davies was the first to threaten in extra-time but his free kick from the edge of the area flashed wide of the mark and Morison again threatened at the other end when he got his head to another cross into the area but his header was gathered comfortably by Bywater. Scott Barron was then inches away from giving his side the lead when he hit an effort from 20 yards that had Bywater beaten all ends up but the ball slammed against the inside of the post before bouncing across the goal to safety in the last meaningful action of the first period of extra-time.
Three minutes after the interval the breakthrough was made but it wasn`t the outcome the home fans wanted as the visitors took the lead. Steve Morison got his head to a corner but his effort was cleared off the line and he was first to the rebound to fire home from close range. Steve Davies attempted to get this side back on level terms immediately after getting on the end of some neat build-up play but his effort was turned away by Forde. Davies was again in action moments later and this time he found the equaliser with a lovely piece of skill and finish. He received the ball with his back to goal just outside the area but turned and beat his man before calmly lifting the ball over Forde and into the net as the keeper came to meet him. Both sides stepped up the intensity in the remaining minutes but no further chances were forthcoming and the game went to penalties.
Steve Davies, Robbie Savage, Chris Porter and Gary Teale all found the net with Derby`s spotkicks whilst David Martin, Jack Smith and Steve Morison all scored for Millwall but the vital miss came from Danny Schofield with their second penalty. This allowed Dean Moxey to slot home the winning kick to send Derby through to the fourth round 5-3 after penalties.
Derby 1-0 (Davies)
Millwall 1-1 (Martin)
Derby 2-1 (Savage)
Millwall 2-1 (Schofield effort saved)
Derby 3-1 (Porter)
Millwall 3-2 (Smith)
Derby 4-2 (Teale)
Millwall 4-3 (Morison)
Derby 5-3 (Moxey)
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