Rams Held Again
Fitness First Stadium
A late thunderbolt from Warren Cummings earned Bournemouth a share of the spoils against Derby County at the Fitness First stadium as the match ended 3-3. Goals from Kris Commons and Paul Green gave The Rams a two goal lead in the first half and they were looking comfortable until Bret Pitman pulled one back from the spot on the stroke of halftime. A strong opening to the second period saw Stephen Bywater stand firm making two sharp saves to deny the home side and James Bailey curled home a delightful finish to cap a fine move to restore the two goal cushion. Harry Arter pulled one back with five minutes to go and Cummings` injury time thunderbolt earned an unlikely looking draw for The Cherries.
Nigel Clough continued with the 4-2-3-1 formation that he used in the first two pre-season friendlies although there were changes in the starting line-up with Dean Moxey and Rob Hulse paired in the centre of defence with five central defenders missing through injury, illness and lack of fitness. Chris Porter led the line up front and trialist Connor Doyle also played from the start in his third appearance.
Paul Green was on the end of a flowing move as Derby started brightly but he curled his shot just over the top from the edge of the area. The Rams continued to play some exciting football in the early stages although when they did take the lead it was from another set piece as Kris Commons thundered a 20 yard free kick into the top corner with Shwan Jalal motionless in the home goal. Commons was looking bright and looking for the ball at every opportunity and he threatened again on the half hour mark when Doyle knocked down a cross and he took the ball on his chest but could only fire wide of the mark.
Another flowing move saw The Rams increase their lead when Savage, Porter and then Roberts combined down the left of the pitch with the former Doncaster man picking out Paul Green on the edge of the area and his deflected effort again gave Jalal no chance as the ball crashed high into the net. Bournemouth didn`t fold despite the two goal deficit and Marc Pugh`s deflected effort at the other end looped up and bounced off the bar before they pulled one back on the stroke of halftime. Dean Moxey was adjudged to have pushed Harry Atter in the area and Brett Pitman sent Stephen Bywater the wrong way from the spot.
Bournemouth came out quickly at the start of the second period and Marc Pugh`s jinking run and shot brought a sharp save out of Bywater. A long ball over the top then found the pacey Liam Feeney but he delayed his shot and was dispossessed before he could finish and Lee Bradbury then should have levelled the scores when Marc Pugh`s cross-cum-shot found the striker but his sliding effort somehow went back across goal and into Bywater`s arms.
A run of substitutions broke up the flow of the game but Derby were working hard to re-establish themselves and they regained their two goal advantage when Doyle cut in from the left and found James Bailey who curled an effort into the far corner from the edge of the area to cap another flowing move. Brett Pitman missed a good late chance for Bournemouth and they pulled a goal back when a ball into the box found Jayden Stockley whose header was only parried by Saul Deeney and Harry Arter reacted first to slam home from close range.
It looked to be no more than a consolation but Bournemouth equalised with the last kick of the match when a free kick was knocked square and Warren Cummings thumped an impressive 30-yard effort into the top corner to level the match in dramatic fashion.
Derby County: Bywater (Deeney), Brayford (Varney), Hulse (O'Brien), Moxey, Roberts (Martin), Savage (Cywka), Bailey, Doyle, Green, Commons (Pringle), Porter (Morgan-Smith)