Rams Fight Back For A Point
Attendance: 17, 996
Goals from Steve Davies and Theo Robinson clawed Derby County back from a two goal deficit to claim a point at St Andrews after a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City. Erik Huseklepp got the final touch on a ball bouncing around the area to give his side the lead in the first half and when Marlon King finished off a quick break just before the hour mark it looked like the same old story for The Rams who enjoyed spells of possession without threatening Boaz Myhill in the home goal. Nigel Clough introduced Ben Davies after the second goal and he made an almost immediate impact when his curling cross was met by Steve Davies and the striker`s powerful header brought Derby back into the match. It got even better five minutes later when Paul Green released Theo Robinson who calmly fired home to level the scores and despite a couple of late scares The Rams held on for a good point on the road.
Steve Davies came in for his first start since fracturing his skull back in October and he was involved inside the first minute when his flick on eventually reached Theo Robinson and his shot was deflected just wide of the far post. At the other end Birmingham had their first chance of the game on five minutes when Chris Burke found Marlon King and when the strikers shot was blocked the ball fell to Andros Townsend but his effort from around the penalty spot was straight at Frank Fielding. Jordan Mutch then dragged an effort wide from long range before a freekick with pace by Townsend just avoided the head of Guirane N'Daw as the home side started to take control.
Birmingham took the lead on nineteen minutes when a short corner from Mutch found Townsend and his low shot bounced around the area until reaching Erik Huseklepp whose touch took the ball beyond Fielding and into the net. The Norwegian striker very nearly doubled his tally shortly afterwards when Curtis Davies made a good run forward and found Huseklepp, via Burke, but he took too long on the ball and Jason Shackell got back to rob him as he was set to shoot. The Rams were seeing a little more of the ball without threatening Boaz Myhill in the home goal with a header over the top from Shaun Barker the only real effort on goal. Huseklepp clipped the top of the bar with a flicked header in the closing minutes but Birmingham went in a goal ahead at the break.
Peter Ramage and Townsend both had efforts cleared from just in front of goal as the second period began with Shackell and then Gareth Roberts getting touches on the respective efforts as Birmingham started brightly. As Derby attacked at the other end Theo Robinson lost out on the edge of the area and Townsend`s purposeful run ended with him laying the ball into the path of Marlon King and he fired past Fielding to double his side`s advantage.
Ben Davies was introduced in place of Nathan Tyson after the goal and he had an immediate impact with his first being a curling ball into the area which was met by the head of Steven Davies and his powerful header beat Myhill despite a touch from the keeper. The confidence came flooding back into The Rams side and Robinson pulled the sides level when a neat ball from Paul Green found the striker and he calmly fired past Myhill to put his side back on level terms. N`Daw brought a save out of Fielding with a dipping volley from distance and substitute Nikola Zigic had a glorious chance but he was denied by a combination of Roberts and Shackell. Jonathan Spector had a header hacked off the line in the closing minutes in a strong finish from his side but Derby held out to claim a point to end their recent run of poor results.
Derby County: Fielding; Green, Barker, Shackell, Roberts; Hendrick, Bryson, Carroll (Buxton 85); Tyson (B.Davies 59), Robinson, S. Davies (Ball 80)
Subs not used: Legzdins, Naylor
Birmingham City: Myhill; Spector, Caldwell, C. Davies, Ramage; Burke (Redmond 85), N'Daw, Mutch, Townsend; Huseklepp (Zigic 71), King.
Subs not used: Ibanez, Gomis, Elliott