Rams Get Back To Winning Ways
Attendance: 17, 707
Goals from Jake Buxton and Steve Davies gave Derby County a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park which, combined with results from elsewhere, condemned the home side to relegation to League One. Both sides looked nervous in the early stages but after some pressure from the home side Jake Buxton headed his side in front five minutes before the break. Adam Legzdins was introduced at halftime and there were chances for Dave Kitson at one end and Jamie Ward at the other before Luke Varney slotted home to level the scores. Portsmouth`s joy was short lived however as Steve Davies put Derby back in front from the spot four minutes later to secure the victory and send them down to the third tier of English football.
Nigel Clough made two changes to the side with the return of John Brayford at right back and Steve Davies also coming back in after being a substitute in midweek. Both sides look nervy early on with a number of misplaced passes giving possession away although Jamie Ward had a low effort blocked on eight minutes having been setup by Davies. Nathan Tyson then saw a cross-shot saved by Jamie Ashdown before Luke Varney`s looping header was easily saved by Frank Fielding.
Fielding was forced to punch a cross clear just before the half hour mark and Joel Ward hooked the ball back towards goal with his effort grazing the outside of the post after taking a slight deflection. Scott Allan hit a well struck freekick that Fielding gathered at the second attempt but it was The Rams who took the lead five minutes before halftime. Jeff Hendrick beat three players to win a corner and when Jamie Ward delivered the set piece Jake Buxton headed home to give his side the advantage at the break.
Adam Legzdins replaced Fielding at halftime with the later feeling his groin during the first half and the former Burton Albion keeper was in the wars early on when he received treatment for a head injury after a clash with Luke Varney. Ashley Harris shot just wide of the mark on the hour mark as the home side looked to get back into the match and Dave Kitson turned and fired over the top from ten yards before Allan struck the bar with a firm effort after cutting in from the left.
Youngster Will Hughes, on as a substitute, flashed a header just wide of the goal after a run and cross from Tyson and Ward forced Ashdown into a reflex save with a freekick from twenty-five yards out. Portsmouth levelled the scores with seventeen minutes to go when the ball broke to Varney and he ran clear on goal before slotting past Legzdins. The sides weren`t even for long however as Ricardo Rocha brought down Ward inside the area four minutes later and Davies dispatched the spot kick to put his side back into the lead. The Rams saw out the remaining minutes of the match fairly comfortably to claim all three points and move back into the top half of the table.
Derby County: Fielding(Legzdins 46); Brayford, Shackell, Buxton, Roberts; Ward, Hendrick, Bryson, Tyson (Bennett 79); S. Davies, Robinson (Hughes 68).
Subs Not Used: Bailey, Carroll.
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Ward, Rocha, Pearce, Halford; Norris, Rekik, Allan; Kitson, Varney, Harris (Futacs 60).
Subs Not Used: Mokoena, Etuhu, Magri, Webster.