Sammon For The Win
Attendance: 25, 021
Conor Sammon came off the bench to score the only goal of the match with a low finish to give Derby County a 1-0 victory over Millwall at Pride Park, a result that saw them finish tenth in the Championship table. The visitors were still in danger of relegation and set their stall out to defend and try to claim the point that should see them safe. Jeff Hendrick fired wide in the opening stages and Richard Keogh`s header was kept out by a fine save from David Forde in the Millwall goal in a tight firsthalf. The Lions had a spell of pressure at the start of the second period but couldn`t trouble Adam Legzdins despite a string of corners and Sammon slid his effort under Forde with five minutes to go after exchanging passes with Ward as Derby finished the season with another home victory to finish in the top half of the table.
Gareth Roberts returned at leftback for his last game in a Derby shirt following Craig Forsyth`s return to Watford and Conor Sammon dropped to the bench with Jamie Ward partnering Chris Martin up front. Jeff Hendrick was first to threaten after exchanging passes with Martin but his effort was wide of the mark and with Millwall looking to prevent Derby from playing their usual passing game chances were few and far between in the opening stages. Will Hughes combined with John Brayford and Ward but could only drag his effort wide from the edge of the area and Richard Keogh was denied by a reaction save from David Forde when he flicked a header towards goal from a Ward freekick from wide on the left. The visitor`s best chance of the half came just before the break when Liam Trotter had the opportunity to shoot but he hit his half-volley into the turf and his effort bounced harmlessly over the top.
Millwall upped their tempo at the start of the second period and The Rams struggled to cope with their physical presence for a period with a succession of corners but other than an acrobatic effort from Jermaine Easter and an Andy Keogh header they did not trouble Adam Legzdins in the Derby goal. Nigel Clough reacted by pushing Ward die to the left in a five man midfield and The Rams slowly regained control although the chances were not flowing. Craig Bryson had an effort straight into the arms of Forde from the edge of the area and with five minutes to go Derby struck the decisive blow through substitute Sammon for his ninth goal of the season. The ball was won back deep inside Millwall territory and an exchange of passes between Sammon and Ward some the former break into the area and slide a low finish underneath Forde to give his side all three points.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Coutts (Davies 87), Hendrick, Hughes, Bryson; Ward (Freeman 90), Martin (Sammon 80).
Subs not used: Fielding, Bennett, Freeman, Jacobs, Hanson.
Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, St Ledger (Woolford 89), Feeney, Batt (Easter 21), Trotter, Wright (Abdou 51), Keogh.
Subs not used: Taylor, Smith, Osborne, Marquis.