Tyson Wins It
Attendance: 21, 505
Derby County got themselves back on track with a 3-2 victory against Birmingham City at Pride Park in an incredible finish to the match. The Rams dominated the firsthalf and deservedly went in ahead at the break although the goal they did score should not have counted when Conor Sammon headed in from an offside position after the impressive Michael Jacobs had cut in from the left and was only denied by a combination of Jack Butland and the post. Birmingham were more positive in the second period and drew level with a dubious penalty after substitute Robert Hall went to ground under challenge from Richard Keogh with Marlon King converting from the spot with just over a quarter of an hour to play. The drama had only just begun and Conor Sammon put Derby back in front on eighty minutes before Peter Lovenkrands flicked in a Jonathan Spector cross two minutes later to leave the sides level again. Nigel Clough's side showed their character and re-took the lead for the final time with six minutes to go when Jacobs' low ball across goal was stabbed home by Nathan Tyson to give his side the points.
Theo Robinson came into the side in place of Jeff Hendrick in the only change to the side and Derby's top scorer was involved early on when Will Hughes' through ball allowed him to stretch his legs but Curtis Davies got back to make an important tackle as he was set to shoot. Ravel Morrison fired wide of the mark at the other end on five minutes in a rare attack for Birmingham as The Rams dominated possession but they came closest to scoring when the ball broke to Wade Elliott on the edge of the area but he could only find the side netting when well placed. Derby continued on the front foot and Craig Bryson brought a smart low save out of Jack Butland in the visitor's goal after being played in by Michael Jacobs but the assistant referee's flag was already up.
Jacobs was too hot for the Birmingham defence to handle and he was involved again as The Rams took the lead. The former Northampton played cut in from the left before firing in a shot that Butland could only tip onto the post with the ball looping into the air before being headed by Conor Sammon. However, replays showed that the goal should not have counted with Sammon being in an offside position when the shot came in. Bryson fired a great chance over the top when John Brayford cut the ball back to him on the edge of the are and Robinson flicked a header into the side netting as Derby finished the half strongly.
Birmingham came out looking to get back into the game quickly at the start of the second half and Richard Keogh and Jake Buxton both did well to block shots before Adam Legzdins had to be quick off his line to deny Marlon King after a clever through ball. Substitute Robert Hall then made ground down the left before a cross shot fizzed across goal and wide of the far post. Robinson blazed over the top after being played clear on goal by Bryson and Hughes intercepted a pass in the middle of the park before having a swerving effort from twentyfive yards unconvincingly pushed away by Butland as Derby looked to get on the front foot again.
Hall was involved in the moment that brought the visitors level with just under twenty minutes to go when he threw himself down under a challenge from Keogh with the referee deciding the tackle was worthy of a penalty, King took the kick and calmly sent Legzdins the wrong way for the equaliser. King then almost put his side in front when he picked up a flick from Zigic, Keogh slid in to get a block on his shot and the ball span up and hit the top of the crossbar with Legzdins beaten.
With the game becoming more and more open Derby re-took the lead with ten minutes to go when Sammon picked up a chipped ball into the area and took a touch before firing across Butland and into the far corner of the net. The lead lasted for only two minutes though as Jonathan Spector was given too much room down the right and he picked out Peter Lovenkrands who flicked a neat header inside the far post to level the scores again. The Rams were not to be denied and they got themselves back in front for a third and decisive time in the match just two minutes after the equaliser when Hughes fed Jacobs and his low ball into the area was stabbed home by substitute Nathan Tyson from close range to secure the three points.
Derby County: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Coutts, Bryson, Hughes (Hendrick 90), Jacobs (O`Brien 90); Robinson (Tyson 72), Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Fielding; O'Connor, Freeman, Bennett.
Birmingham City: Butland; Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson; Burke (Hall 60), Mullins, Morrison, Elliott (Lovenkrands 68); Zigic, King.
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Diop, Hancox, Reilly.