Rams Held By Cardiff
Attendance: 20, 911
Derby County were held to a 1-1 draw against league leaders Cardiff City at Pride Park after dominating possession and chances. Cardiff took the lead against the run of play when Adam Legzdins misjudged a looping header and could only turn it against the bar allowing Heidar Helguson to head in from close range. Paul Coutts went close with a low shot that was turned away by David Marshall and Jake Buxton threatened with a header but he could only find the roof of the net before The Rams stepped things up in the second period. After starting on the front foot they were given a boost when Craig Noone received two yellow cards in the space of three minutes to reduce the visitors to ten man. Theo Robinson converted from close range from a Craig Bryson ball to level the scores and The Rams kept the pressure up but substitute Nathan Tyson had the best effort when his header was cleared off the line as the sides finished all square.
The Rams were unchanged from the side who beat Birmingham City at the weekend and started the game in a similar manner as they looked to take the game to their table topping opponents. Richard Keogh threatened early on when his header from a Paul Coutts corner was cleared from in front of goal by Craig Noone, Will Hughes then exchanged passes with Conor Sammon before firing in a low cross but the ball avoided anyone in a white shirt and went out of play on the far side. Cardiff then took the lead somewhat against the run of play, Mark Hudson got a looping header to a Peter Whittingham cross and Adam Legzdins appeared to misjudge the effort only palming it onto the crossbar allowing Heidar Helguson to head in from virtually on the goal line.
Michael Jacobs cut in from the left and fired a shot just wide of the far post as Derby looked to get back into the match and Coutts then had a low effort well saved by David Marshall after being teed up by Theo Robinson after a run down the right. Coutts was involved again in the last effort of note in the firsthalf when his freekick from the right was headed onto the roof of the net by Jake Buxton but Cardiff lead at the break.
Buxton threatened again at the start of the second period but his flicked header was cleared to safety and Craig Bellamy fired wide at the other end after getting on the end of a long ball forward. Noone picked up two bookings in the space of three minutes, the first for a foul on Will Hughes and then for a late challenge on substitute James O'Connor, and was shown a red card to leave his side a man short. Just six minutes later Derby leveled the scores when Craig Bryson was released inside the area and he cut the ball back to Robinson who converted from close range.
The Rams were well on top now and Bryson hit a half-volley just wide of the mark before John Brayford saw a shot from the edge of the area unconvincingly kept out by Marshall and the rightback then flashed a header just wide of the mark as the pressure continued. Nathan Tyson, who earlier replaced Jacobs, was causing problems for the Cardiff backline and his header from a corner was cleared off the line in added time but Derby couldn't find the breakthrough and had to settle for a point.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts (O`Connor 27); Coutts, Bryson, Hughes, Jacobs (Tyson 67); Robinson (Hendrick 82), Sammon.
Subs: Fielding, Freeman, O'Brien, Davies.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, Hudson, Nugent, Ralls, Bo-Kung, Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Conway 73), Noone, Bellamy (Mutch 70), Helguson (Mason 79).
Subs: Parish, Kiss, Gestede, John.