Ward Secures Point
Attendance: 17. 761
Substitute Jamie Ward returned from injury to earn Derby County a point before leaving the pitch again with a calf problem in an eventful fifteen minutes as his side drew 1-1 with Charlton Athletic at The Valley. The Rams enjoyed the lion`s share of possession in the opening stages but found themselves behind to a fine striker from Danny Haynes who cut in the left and fired an unstoppable effort beyond Adam Legzdins. Bradley Pritchard should have doubled the lead in the second half but his effort from close range struck the bar and Derby punished the miss when Ward converted a penalty with just under twenty minutes to go. Ben Hamer made saves in quick succession in the closing stages from Theo Robinson and Conor Sammon before John Brayford hit the post with a header from a corner but The Rams couldn`t find a winner and had to settle for a point.
Nigel Clough made four changes to the Derby line-up with James O`Connor coming in for Mark O`Brien, Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson being paired in attack and Ben Davies coming in for his first start in the league in place of Michael Jacobs. Will Hughes picked up a booking in the early stages for a late challenge on Bradley Pritchard and he was involved again shortly afterwards when his pass released John Brayford down the right and his low centre was hacked to safety with Nathan Tyson threatening to convert.
Ben Davies had a freekick from the edge of the area tipped over by Ben Hamer in the Charlton goal and the former Notts County midfielder curled another set piece across the face of goal from a tight angle before Tyson couldn`t get his header on target from another dead ball opportunity. Against the run of play the home side took the lead through a superb strike from Danny Haynes, the striker received the ball in the rightback position for The Rams before cutting back in field and rifling a strike into the top corner past a helpless Adam Legzdins. Haynes` joy was short-lived though as he was replaced shortly afterwards with an injury.
Robinson was involved as The Rams looked to get back in the game straight away and his pass released strike partner Tyson on goal but Hamer came out and got a touch on his effort to divert it wide of goal. Hughes hit a volley just over the top from thirty yards and Bradley Wright-Phillips escaped the attentions of Richard Keogh but Legzdins produced a sharp save to deny the substitute and keep his side in the match at the break.
Charlton began the second period brightly and Cedric Evina fired straight at Legzdins from just outside the area before efforts from Dale Stephens and Johnnie Jackson both kept the Derby keeper on his toes. Conor Sammon was introduced in place of Tyson and Derby fought their way back into the match winning a succession of corners before Sammon came close with a glancing header. At the other end Pritchard should have scored a second for his side but he hit the bar from ten yards out and he was punished for the miss when The Rams drew level on seventy-two minutes. Michael Morrison brought down Brayford as he was set to get on the end of a corner and the referee pointed to the spot before showing the Charlton defender a second yellow card. Substitute Jamie Ward stepped up to mark his first appearance in seventeen games by sending Hamer the wrong way from the spot.
Ward did not last for long though and was replaced only fifteen minutes after coming on by Michael Jacobs due to a calf problem. Hamer had to be alert to keep his side in the match as Derby piled the pressure on in the closing stages as he reacted quickly to deny Robinson with a point blank save before then pushing away Sammon`s header from the rebound. Brayford was then first to corner from the right but his header from eight yards hit the post with Hamer beaten and the home side clung on to earn themselves a point.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, Keogh, O`Connor, Roberts; Coutts, Hendrick, Hughes (Ward 68) (Jacobs 83), Davies; Robinson, Tyson (Sammon 65).
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Doyle, Freeman, O`Brien.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer; Solly, Cort, Morrison, Evina; Wilson, Pritchard, Stephens (Dervite 73), Jackson; Haynes (Wright-Phillips 35), Kermorgant (Fuller 85).
Subs Not Used: Sullivan, Kerkar, Hulse, Wagstaff.