Derby Held By Barnsley
Attendance: 23, 454
Derby County had to settle for a point and second place in the table after Barnsley somehow held on for a 1-1 draw at Pride Park. The Rams dominated the early stages and Jeff Hendrick and Ben Davies both tested Luke Steele in the visitors goal before they took the lead against the run of play just after the half-hour mark when Jacob Butterfield fired home from close range after a mistake from substitute Russell Anderson. Derby continued to enjoy the upper hand after the break with Jason Shackell and Steve Davies both coming close before Derby`s top scorer converted from the spot just after the hour to level the scores. Davies came close twice more in the closing stages and Shackell headed against the bar but The Rams couldn`t find the winner despite dominating the possession and chances and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Frank Fielding came back into the starting lineup in the only change from the side who strolled to three points against Millwall on Saturday. Derby started quickly and had the first effort of the match when Jeff Hendrick had an effort from the edge of the area pushed away by Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal. Gareth Roberts picked up a knock in meaty challenge and was replaced on sixteen minutes by Russell Anderson in a straight replacement at leftback. Ben Davies tested Steele with a freekick from twenty yards that he held well and Steve Davies then saw a shot deflected just wide as The Rams continued to look for the break through.
It was against the run of play that the first goal came and it was the visitors who took the lead with their first effort on goal. A long ball forward was misjudged by Anderson with Vaz Te getting in behind him and crossing the far post where a header back into the middle found Jacob Butterfield to volley home from close range. Derby didn`t take their foot off the gas despite falling behind and Theo Robinson came close after some near buildup play. Hendrick and Ben Davies both tested Steele in the visitors goal and Frank Fielding had to be on his toes to grab an effort a the second attempt from distance from Bobby Hassell in stoppage time as Barnsley looked for a second.
The Rams came out of the blocks quickly again at the start of the second half and Jason Shackell headed just over the top from a Ben Davies corner against his former side. Steve Davies was next to threaten with a fierce effort from twentyfive yards that was well held by Steele and Theo Robinson then turned neatly on the edge of the area but he curled his effort agonisingly wide of the mark with the keeper beaten. Steve Davies was then denied by the legs of Steele with another save.
It looked to be only a matter of time before Derby drew level and they were presented with a great chance on the hour mark when Ben Davies tricked his way past Hassell and the defender hauled him to the ground to give the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Steve Davies stepped up to slam home the penalty and draw the sides level with his fifth goal of the season. With Derby continuing to press Barnsley nearly caught them out on the break when Vaz Te found room down the right but Anderson got back to deflect his shot wide for a corner.
Steve Davies was again denied by Steele when he met Ben Davies` corner only for the keeper to turn his header away and the striker`s shot was then too hot for him to handle and Robinson turned the rebound home only to be denied by the offside flag. Shackell headed another Ben Davies` corner against the under side of the bar with ten minutes to go with the ball bouncing to safety and Derby`s captain deflected a close range effort from Andy Gray behind for a corner with shouts for handball from the visitors being waived away. Ben Davies picked out Steve Davies with a cross in injury time but he headed narrowly over with the last chance of the game as his side had to settle for a point after four minutes of added time.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, O'Brien, Shackell, Roberts (Anderson 16), B Davies, Hendrick, Bryson, Ward, S Davies, Robinson (Cywka 90).
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Maguire, Croft.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, McEveley (Wiseman 38), Foster, O'Brien, Perkins (Digby 34), McNulty, Vaz Te (Rose 77), Butterfield, Drinkwater, Gray.
Subs Not Used: Preece, Clarke