Date:Wednesday December 4 2013
Attendance: 24, 631
A late goal from Conor Sammon gave Derby County a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough at Pride Park as they won their fourth game in a row to move up to fourth in table. Curtis Main was dismissed for a second booking after an unnecessary late challenge on Jake Buxton and Boro were pinned back by The Rams with Chris Martin getting a touch on a Craig Bryson cross at the near post on the stroke of halftime to give them the lead. Whilst Derby dominated possession at the start of the second half they did not create any clear cut chances until Jamie Ward was denied by Shay Given but they were caught by a lighting quick counter attack when Jake Buxton missed a challenge on the halfway line and Mustapha Carayol cut the ball back before a completely mishit shot bounced through to Dean Whitehead to score the most unlikely of equalisers. However, The Rams continued their recent run of form when Will Hughes flicked on Jeff Hendrick`s lofted pass and Conor Sammon won a challenge with Jonathan Woodgate that saw the ball spin up and over Given and into the net in the final minute to give them the win.
Jamie Ward came back into the side in place of Johnny Russell in the only change to the side who won at Wigan at the weekend but The Rams looked lethargic in the early stages and a deflected cross from Craig Forsyth was the closest they came to scoring as Shay Given tipped the ball behind for a corner. Jake Buxton headed over from a Ward corner and Kei Kamara tried a scissor kick as the ball dropped to him from a corner at the other end but Lee Grant was not troubled by the effort.
Curtis Main was involved in a moment that changed the game on thirty-four minutes when, having already been booked for a late challenge on Grant, he left his foot in on a challenge with Jake Buxton and was shown a second yellow card to leave his side with ten men. The striker can consider himself unlucky to have been sent-off but having been cautioned already he showed his inexperience with a challenge that did not need to be made giving the referee a decision to make.
Craig Bryson`s effort from the edge of the area was kept out by a low save from Given before the same player hit a half-volley into the goalmouth from a short corner but Given again palmed to safety under pressure from a dropping ball. Just as Boro appeared to have made it through to halftime on level terms Craig Forsyth and Bryson combined down the left with the later curling a cross into the near post where Chris Martin steered an effort beyond Given to give The Rams the lead.
Derby dominated possession at the start of the second period with the visitors sitting back and looking to deny their hosts any sight of goal, Forsyth`s cross shot flew well wide of the target and Buxton had a header cleared from just in front of goal as The Rams looked to put the game to bed. Simon Dawkins showed quick feet on the edge of the area and flicked a neat ball towards Ward but Given kept out his volley at his near post as they continued on the front foot.
With things looking increasingly comfortable Derby were caught by a sucker punch when Dawkins lost the ball halfway inside the Boro half, Mustapha Carayol skipped past Buxton on the halfway line before running into the area and cutting the ball back. A mishit shot saw the ball bobble through to Dean Whitehead and the former Stoke man slammed home from eight yards to give his side an unlikely equaliser.
Substitute Johnny Russell`s deflected cross found the side netting and Ward fired an effort harmlessly wide as Derby desperately looked for the winner. With the game about to reach added time they found the breakthrough when Jeff Hendrick`s ball into the area was flicked on by Will Hughes and Conor Sammon won a challenge with a defender as the ball looped up and over Given to give Derby all three points.
Derby County: Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Eustace (Hendrick 45), Hughes, Bryson (Sammon 79), Dawkins (Russell 76), Ward, Martin.
Subs not used: Legzdins, Bennett, Cisse, Keane.
Middlesbrough: Given, Friend (Ayala 90), Williams, Butterfield (Carayol 45), Whitehead, Gibson, Main, Adomah (Varga 82), Kamara, Smallwood, Woodgate.
Subs used: Konstantopolous, Richardson, Emnes, Ledsema.
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Date:Wednesday December 4 2013
|Sheff Wed||0||-||1||Derby County|
|1. Leicester City||33||23||5||5||+30||74|
|3. Derby County||34||18||7||9||+17||61|
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