Zamora Snatches Glory
Attendance: 87, 348
A late goal from Bobby Zamora gave ten man Queens Park Rangers an unlikely victory over Derby County at Wembley to end The Rams' Premiership dream in cruel fashion. A tight first-half ended goalless with Jamie Ward forcing the only real save of note from Rob Green when his deep freekick came all of the way through and was touched behind for a corner. After the interval Charlie Austin missed a great chance for QPR from inside the area before Gary O'Neil was sent off for bringing down Johnny Russell when through on goal. The Rams piled on the pressure with the man advantage but the closest they came was a low shot from substitute Craig Bryson and a Chris Martin effort that was touched against a post by Green. With the game looking destined for extra-time Junior Hoilett broke down the right and a scuffed clearance from Richard Keogh fell to the feet of Zamora who slotted home to deny Derby,
Steve McClaren went with an unchanged side for the match meaning only a place on the bench for Craig Bryson. Johnny Russell had an early opportunity for The Rams but his freekick from twenty yards hit the wall whilst at the other end Joey Barton had a similar effort blocked by the wall in a scrappy opening. Charlie Austin fired over from thirty yards after the ball broke to him and Barton's shot was similarly off target as he slashed at a bouncing ball.
Derby slowly gained more space to play their football and Jamie Ward's deep cross to the back post picked out Craig Forsyth but his header went over when he perhaps should have pulled the ball back across goal. Forsyth was involved again with a tricky run going forward and the ball broke to Will Hughes but his effort was too high from the edge of the area. Johnny Russell ran at goal but his dipping effort was easily gathered by Rob Green and the former England goalkeeper had to be alert when Ward's deep freekick bypassed everyone and nearly sneaked in at the far post but Green touched the ball behind for a corner. Substitute Armand Traore fired an effort wide after running at the Derby back-line in a rare attack for QPR but the sides went in level at the break.
The Rams had a series of corners at the start of the second period but nearly found themselves behind as QPR broke and Traore pulled the ball back for Austin who bobbled an effort wide with a glorious chance from around the penalty spot. The game took a huge swing in Derby's favour on the hour mark when they won the ball back in midfield and Russell looked to be clean through on goal only to be brought down by Gary O'Neil with the midfielder being shown a red card.
The freekick came to nothing but the introduction of Craig Bryson for Hughes nearly paid immediate dividends when Jeff Hendrick picked out his run but his low shot at the near post was bundled behind by Green. From the resulting corner the ball was half cleared and worked back into the danger areas where Bryson picked out Chris Martin but his effort was tipped against the post and behind for another corner. Ward made room down the right and picked out Richard Keogh with a cross but his header was harmlessly over and substitute Simon Dawkins didn't get hold of an effort from inside the area with the ball eventually breaking as far as Ward but his effort struck Martin and went behind.
Against the run of play The Rams found themselves behind when Junior Hoilett broke into the area down the right and his pull back was miscued by Keogh right into the path of Bobby Zamora who calmly slotted past Lee Grant. With only a few minutes of added time to go The Rams won a corner and sent up Grant but it was not to be and QPR claimed their place in the Premiership for next season.
Derby County: Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Thorne, Hughes (Bryson 67), Hendrick, Russell (Dawkins 67), Ward (Bamford 90), Martin.
Subs not used: Legzdins, Whitbread, Eustace, Sammon.
Queens Park Rangers: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill (Henry 67), Austin, Doyle (Zamora 57), Onouha, Barton, Kranjcar (Traore 33), Hoilett, O`Neil.
Subs not used: Murphy, Morrison, Suk-Young, Hughes.