All Square At Oakwell
Derby County dragged themselves out of the bottom three with a hard won point at Oakwell as they drew 1-1 with Barnsley. Dean Leacock headed The Rams into the lead on fifteen minutes with his first goal in professional football and they went in at the break a goal ahead after effectively nullifying Barnsley for the majority of the half whilst playing some neat football themselves. The home side came out strongly after the break but it was a mistake that handed them the equaliser only three minutes in when Adam Hammill ran at the Derby backline and fired home from just inside the area. Both sides had chances in the closing stages but neither could find the winner and a point each was a fair reflection on the match overall.
Robbie Savage and Tomasz Cywka dropped to the bench as Nigel Clough made two changes after the midweek defeat to Hull with Kris Commons and Ben Pringle the men who replaced them; there was also a place on the bench for Stephen Pearson who only returned to full training during the week. The Rams started well and Shaun Barker headed wide from an Alberto Bueno corner in the opening stages. Derby continued their good spell and took the lead on fifteen minutes, another Pringle delivery from a corner caused chaos in the Barnsley area and Bueno returned the ball into the six yard box for Dean Leacock to nod home his first goal for The Rams.
Bueno was involved again to feed Kris Commons with a neat through ball but the offside flag was up before he finished neatly, chalking the goal off. Derby were working hard to deny the home side any room and it wasn`t until twenty-eight minutes that they had an effort on goal although Gary O`Connor`s effort was straight at Stephen Bywater. Bywater reacted well to keep out a powerful drive from Adam Hammill as Barnsley kept up the pressure and they came closer still on the stroke of halftime when Diego Arismendi`s powerful effort was turned away by Bywater and O`Connor`s header from the loose ball was hacked off the line by a combination of Dean Moxey and John Brayford to leave The Rams a goal to the good at the break.
Barnsley looked to get back into the game at the start of the second period and, after John Brayford gave the ball away, Adam Hammill drove at the Derby defence and fired home from just inside the area to level the scores after only three minutes. The goal saw Barnsley begin to assert themselves on the match although they nearly fell behind again when Luke Steele dropped a Dean Moxey cross but the ball rebounded off the post and bounced to safety.
Paul Green and Shefki Kuqi both had efforts that they couldn`t get on target as The Rams looked for the three points and Stephen Pearson and Tomasz Cywka were introduced in place of Bueno and Commons midway through the second period. The game had evened out again with chances few and far between with both sides defending doggedly and determined not to give the game away. Bywater denied O`Connor in the closing stages with a sharp save and he was on hand again to deny the Scottish international from the resulting corner. Neither side could find the breakthrough in the closing stages and the game finished all square.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Foster, Shackell, McEveley, O'Brien (Trippier 74), Butterfield (Doyle 86), Arsemendi, Hammill, O'Connor, Gray (Dickinson 81)
Subs: Preece, Lovre, Nuemann, Devaney
Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Leacock, Barker, Moxey, Bailey, Green, Bueno (Pearson 65), Pringle, Commons (Cywka 70), Kuqi (O'Brien 90)
Subs: Deeney, Savage, Doyle, Martin
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