Rams Fight Back For A Point
Attendance: 25, 546
Derby County fought back from two goals behind to claim a point against Coventry City at a sunny Pride Park thanks to strikes from Steve Davies and a Robbie Savage penalty. The Rams couldn`t get going early on and close range efforts from Aron Gunnarsson and Marlon King gave the visitors a deserved two goal lead with five minutes to go until the break. Derby responded almost immediately though when Steve Davies flicked home a superbly flight Ben Davies freekick and Robbie Savage kept his nerve to convert from the spot after Jamie Ward was fouled in the area by King. Steve Davies came close again at the start of the second period and Theo Robinson`s pace caused some nervous moments for the visitors after he replaced Alberto Bueno but neither side could take advantage of possession in some dangerous areas and the game finished with scores level.
Nigel Clough made three changes to the side beaten by Cardiff a week ago with Ben Davies, James Bailey and Dean Leacock returning in place of Gareth Roberts, Paul Green and Stephen Pearson and there was a home debut for on loan Brad Jones. Coventry started brightly and Gary McSheffrey blasted over early on after running at the Derby backline, he threatened again after Robbie Savage gave the ball away in midfield but couldn`t get his effort on target. Derby were struggling to get themselves going and fell a goal behind on sixteen minutes, a deep corner from McSheffrey eventually fell to Gunnarsson whose acrobatic overhead kick from six yards found the net although Brad Jones did look to have been blocked off when coming for the original cross.
Steve Davies' firm freekick was pushed out by Kieren Westwood as Derby looked to get back in the game but the visitors doubled their lead on thirty-nine minutes when Marlon King slotted home from ten yards after his initial effort was blocked but came straight back to the striker. The Rams responded almost immediately when Ben Davies was fouled wide on the left and his dangerous delivery was flicked home by Steve Davies. It got better for Nigel Clough`s side four minutes later when King fouled Jamie Ward in the area and Robbie Savage converted from the spot to send the sides in level at the break.
Derby started the second half on the front foot and Ward`s run down the right and pass inside found Steve Davies but his effort from the edge of the box was just wide. Alberto Bueno`s freekick from the edge of the area was deflected wide as The Rams continued to apply the pressure and Theo Robinson came on in place of the Spaniard for the final halfhour. Jones had to be alert to keep out King`s low effort and Ben Davies cleared a Richard Keogh header off the line as the visitors applied some pressure of their own. Robinson ran at the Coventry backline on seventy-five minutes but he couldn't direct his effort on target and Shan Barker cleared a King effort from just in front of the line at the other end with the last real opportunity of the match as both sides settled for a point.
Derby County: Jones, Leacock (Anderson 72), Barker, Ayala, Brayford, B Davies, Savage, Bailey (Addison 90), Ward, S Davies, Bueno (Robinson 60).
Subs: Atkins, Pringle, Pearson, Porter.
Coventry City: Westwood, Keogh, Hussey, Cameron, Cranie, Clingan, Gunnarsson, Bell, McSheffrey (Baker 90), Jutkiewicz (Platt 90), King.
Subs: O'Halloran, Quirke, Deegan, McIndoe, O'Donovan.