Rams Hold On For Point
Attendance: 33, 010
Derby County and Southampton had to settle for a point apiece after a 1-1 draw at a nearly sold-out Pride Park in a top of the table clash. The Rams went into the match sat in third place with their visitors top before kick-off and Derby started brightly and took the lead inside three minutes when Theo Robinson pounced to score from a rebound from a Ben Davies shot. Southampton didn`t take it lying down and went on to enjoy the lions share of possession in the first half with Frank Fielding making saves from Guy Do Prado and Richard Chaplow. The visitor`s pressure was rewarded just after the hour when Ricky Lambert slotted home a neat finish after a one-two on the edge of the area and the table toppers looked to push on from there. Derby fought back well though and Ben Davies came close before Jason Shackell had a header cleared off the line with The Rams` skipper then having to repeat the feat at the other end from a Lambert header to secure a point for his side.
Russell Anderson came in for the injured John Brayford at right back in the only change to the starting line-up in the first match after the international break. Derby took the game to their opponents in the early stages and was ahead inside the first three minutes when Kelvin Davis could only palm away Ben Davies` shot from the edge of the area and Theo Robinson was first to the rebound to give his side the lead. The league leaders looked to get back into the game straight away and Richard Chaplow tested Frank Fielding from twenty-five yards but the young keeper was equal to his effort.
Southampton were on top in terms of possession although Fielding was not busy on the Derby goal and the back line stood up strongly to everything being thrown at them. There inevitably chances for the visitors however and Fielding made a superb save at full length to deny Guy Do Prado to his left and Gareth Roberts reacted well to block Jose Fonte`s header on the line from the resulting corner to help maintain The Rams` lead going into the break.
Ben Davies had the first effort of the second half when he shot into the side but Southampton were soon back on the front foot with Ricky Lambert causing problems for Derby`s backline and his curling effort from the edge of the area brought another save out of Fielding. The pressure continued and the visitors dragged themselves level just after the hour when Lambert played a one-two with David Connolly on the edge of the box and he fired a low effort beyond Fielding.
The big targetman played a neat one-two with his strike partner David Connolly on the edge of the box and drove the ball low beyond Fielding with his right into the corner. Derby reacted well to conceding and got themselves back in to the match and Ben Davies had a firm effort blocked after Robinson won the ball back. Steve Davies was stretchered off with ten minutes to go after picking up a head injury and was replaced by Tomasz Cywka. Jason Shackell had a header cleared off the line from a corner as The Rams got themselves back on top but Fielding again had to be alert at the other end to keep out a Do Prado effort. Lambert had the last effort of the match when his header from a de Ridder cross was cleared off the line by Shackell and seven minutes of added time could not separate the sides.
Derby County: Fielding, Anderson, O'Brien, Shackell, Roberts, Hendrick, Bryson, B Davies, Ward, S Davies (Cywka 81), Robinson
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Doyle, Maguire, Kilbane
Southampton: Davis, Richardson (Hammond 73), Schneiderlin, Fonte, Lambert, Cork, Do Prado (Harding 89), Fox, Chaplow (De Ridder 59), Connolly, Hooiveld.
Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Martin