Rams Continue Unbeaten Run
The Liberty Stadium
A hard working display saw Derby County return from The Liberty Stadium with a point after a goalless draw with Swansea City. Both sides played some neat football but chances were few and far between as Stephen Bywater made a fine reaction save just before halftime to deny Stephen Dobbie with Shaun Barker threatening from a corner in the second period. Stephen Pearson nearly getting on the end of a couple of dangerous looking crosses and Swansea finished strongly with Craig Beattie twice coming close in the closing stages but they couldn`t find the breakthrough and Nigel Clough`s side extended their unbeaten run to four matches.
Luke Moore came into the starting line-up in place of Shefki Kuqi, unavailable due to the terms of his loan from Swansea, in the only change to the side who had won twice in a week. The Rams started quickly and kept hold of possession well in the early stages although they didn`t threaten Dorus De Vries in the Swansea goal despite a couple of early corners. The home side were looking dangerous on the break and, after winning a corner, Ashley Williams had the first real effort of the match as he met the cross but couldn`t get his effort on target.
Tomasz Cywka hit a low cross-shot that forced de Vries to make a save on twenty-five minutes and the keeper held the effort with Luke Moore poised to pounce. As Derby looked to gain the upper hand again James Bailey and Paul Green both had efforts blocked from threatening positions. Stephen Bywater then reacted well when Stephen Dobbie escaped the attentions of Green in the area and fired in a firm effort to turn the shot around the post to his left. The home side were beginning to assert themselves on the match and enjoyed the greater share of possession but could not find the breakthrough before halftime.
Joe Allen had an effort blocked by Shaun Barker at the start of the second period as Swansea continued where they left off in the first half. Nigel Clough made an early change to the side on fifty-two minutes bringing on Ben Pringle in the place of Kris Commons and the youngster nearly made an immediate impact but his deflected dipping effort flew just over the top. The Rams were getting themselves back into the game although the home side looked dangerous on the break and John Brayford twice had to block efforts from Lloyd Dyer as he threatened down the right.
Stephen Pearson and Ryan Noble both came off the bench shortly after each other just after the hour mark in place of Alberto Bueno and Luke Moore respectively. Pearson was involved straight away as he was involved in a two-on-one situation but he couldn`t direct his shot goalwards when well placed. There were chances at the other end for Swansea but Dobbie twice hesitated in getting a shot away and the opportunities came to nothing.
Shaun Barker threatened from a Ben Pringle corner with fifteen minutes to go but couldn`t direct his effort on target and crosses from Dean Moxey and Tomasz Cywka almost picked out the run of Pearson only for Ashley Williams to make last ditch clearances on both occasions. As Swansea finished strongly Craig Beattie and Alan Tate both narrowly failed to hit the target but The Rams backline held out to help them claim a point on the road.
Swansea City: de Vries, Williams, Tate, Orlandi (Nouble 59), van der Gun (Beattie 78), Dyer, Dobbie, Monk, Rangel, Allen, Gower (Lopez 67)
Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Taylor, Serran, Lucas
Derby County: Bywater, Green, Barker, Brayford, Moxey, Bailey, Savage, Commons (Pringle 52), Bueno (Pearson 61), Cywka, Moore (Noble 66)
Subs: Deeney, O'Brien, Porter