Rams Thrashed At Cardiff
Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 22, 254
Derby County`s miserable record in the Welsh capital continued as they went down 4-1 to Cardiff City to take their goals against tally to ten in their last two visits to the Cardiff City Stadium. An early penalty from Jay Bothroyd set the tone with The Rams having to chase the game from the seventh minute and despite putting in plenty of hard work they rarely threatened the home defence. After reaching the break one goal behind two quickfire goals at the beginning of the second period from Dekel Keinan and Paul Quinn put the game out of site with Peter Whittingham volleying in a fourth with just over twenty minutes to go. Derby settled the ship but with the game already won it was purely damage limitation and Robbie Savage scored a consolation goal five minutes into injury time to round out the score on a bad afternoon for his side.
Brad Jones made his debut in the Derby goal in the only change from the side that drew at Crystal Palace last time out to replace Frank Fielding who returned to Blackburn after his loan spell expired. Tomasz Cywka took a place on the bench after recovering from injury and there was also a place for Russell Anderson for the first time in this calendar year. Stephen Bywater was not allowed to play under the terms of his loan from The Rams so Tom Heaton returned in goal for Cardiff. The home side started brightly and found themselves in front only seven minutes into the match when Craig Bellamy went down under a challenge from Shaun Barker and the referee pointed to the spot. Jay Bothroyd stepped up to calmly convert for his eighteenth goal of the season.
Derby were working hard to deny their hosts time on the ball although they weren`t looking particularly creative going forward and Bellamy nearly doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark when his pace took him clear on goal and he rounded Brad Jones but Barker got back well to clear off the line. Paul Green had a chance at the other end when he latched onto a weak defensive clearance but Heaton was out quickly to get enough on his flicked effort to allow Jlloyd Samuel to get back and complete the clearance. Green was replaced on thirty-seven minutes after looking to catch his studs in the turf and James Bailey came on for his first appearance after his spell out of the side with illness and injury. The Rams had the final chance of the half when Jamie Ward did well down the right but Steve Davies` first-time right-foot shot was saved by Heaton from his pass and Derby trailed at the break.
Cardiff had struck early in the first period and followed suit after the break when they doubled the lead only three minutes in. Bellamy`s pace again caused problems for the Derby backline and lead to a corner that Chris Burke swung to the far post where Dekel Keinan powered a header past Jones. Davies had a glorious chance to pull one back just before the hour mark but he blazed over from six yards when Barker knocked the ball down to him and The Rams paid for the miss when they fell three goals behind moments later. Peter Whittingham had enough time to get in a cross from the left and Paul Quinn swept home as the home side pulled further ahead. Gareth Roberts was replaced by Russell Anderson after going down injured during the build-up to the goal and a fourth quickly followed when Whittingham volleyed home from twelve yards after Bellamy`s pace caused chaos in the Derby defence.
Derby were hanging on and it was down to damage limitation for the final twenty minutes as The Rams looked to stop the home side running up more goals as they dominated the match. They managed to steady things at the back and pulled a goal back deep into injury time at the end of the match when Jamie Ward was fouled in the area and Robbie Savage converted from the spot but it was only a consolation with his side well beaten.
Cardiff City: Heaton, McNaughton, Whittingham, Bothroyd (Parkin 71), McPhail, Burke, Keinan, Quinn, Olofinjana, Samuel (Blake 69), Bellamy (Emmanuel-Thomas 76).
Subs: Brown, Rae, Gyepes, Matthews.
Derby County: Jones, Brayford, Ayala, Barker (Addison 65), Roberts (Anderson 60), Green (Bailey 37), Savage, Pearson, Ward, Bueno, S Davies.
Subs: Atkins, Cywka, Robinson, B Davies