Rams Take Point From Leaders
Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 21, 544
Derby County`s depleted team put in a spirited display against league leaders Cardiff City but their achilles heel struck again when they conceded a late headed goal from a cross to end up with a 1-1 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Rams were only able to name five substitutes after two more players went down with injuries but the side put in a hardworking performance and had the better of the chances culminating in Chris Martin having a goal ruled out for offside when he looked to be onside when the ball was played. Cardiff came at Derby in the second period but it was the visitors who took the lead when Conor Sammon calmly finished from a cross that fell nicely for him at the far post. Adam Legzdins misjudged a cross with eight minutes to go allowing Craig Noone to head in at the far post and Cardiff could well have snatched it in the last few minutes but Rudy Gestede volleyed over when well placed.
John Brayford and Craig Bryson both missed out through injury handing debuts to Valentin Gjokaj and Craig Forsyth with the clearance for his loan moving coming through in time for him to line up on the left of midfield. The Rams were the first to threaten when Chris Martin dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area before Paul Coutts had an effort from twenty five yards superbly kept out by David Marshall in the Cardiff goal. Tommy Smith hit a low cross that Frazier Campbell was inches away from as the home side got back into the match but Derby were making the better of the chances and Coutts released Conor Sammon who got into the area and pulled the ball back to Jeff Hendrick. The Irishman`s shot appeared to strike the arm of Ben Nugent but the appeals were waved away and a corner given and Hendrick released Martin a few minutes later but the flag was up for offside as he tucked home the chance although replays suggested he was level with the last man.
Cardiff came out strongly in the second period with Aron Gunnarsson`s long throw being flicked on by Ben Turner but Campbell`s header was kept out by a combination of Richard Keogh and Adam Legzdins at the expense of a corner and Jake Buxton denied the striker again with a last ditch tackle. Despite the pressure from the home side it was The Rams who took the lead with fifteen minutes to go when Ben Davies` cross looped up and fell nicely for Sammon who placed the ball beyond the reach of Marshall and into the net. The lead didn`t last long though as just seven minutes later a cross to the far post was misjudged by Legzdins and Craig Noone rose highest to head the ball into the net to level the scores. Substitute Rudy Gestede had a great chance to win the game in the dieing minutes but he volleyed over from close range to leave the sides taking home a point apiece.
Cardiff City: Marshall; Connolly, Nugent, Turner, Taylor; Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Smith (Noone 72), Conway (Gestede 84); Campbell, Helguson (Mason 76).
Subs not used: Lewis, McNaughton, Cowie, Kim.
Derby County: Legzdins; Gjokaj, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Davies, Coutts, Hendrick, Forsyth (Jacobs 71); Martin, Sammon.
Subs not used: Fielding, Hoganson, Bennett, Doyle.