Rams Take A Point In Opener
Stadium of Light
Attendance: 29, 578
Bradley Johnson gave Derby County the lead but Sunderland came back to level the scores and take a point at the Stadium of Light on Friday night in a 1-1 draw. Against the run of play Johnson but The Rams in front from close range afterJohnny Russell burst into the area and the home side had the better of the first half with Scott Carson making a superb save from Lee Cattermole`s half volley. With game only moments from halftime Jacob Butterfield went down awkwardly on the area and was adjudged to have handled the ball and Lewis Grabban levelled the scores from the spot. Grabban thumped an effort against the post in the second period and Chris Martin had a clear sight of goal but fired over as the sides finished level.
Gary Rowett went with the side who started the Hoffenheim friendly and they took the lead on eleven minutes against the run of play after some early pressure by Sunderland. Tom Huddlestone`s raking pass found Russell down the right and his pace took him into the area with ball breaking to Johnson off a defender and the converted from close range.
The home side continued to dominate territorially and Lee Cattermole controlled a ball in the on his chest and hit a half volley that Carson did well to react to and push behind with a strong hand. As the game approached the break Jacob Butterfield stumbled in the area when looking to help clear a bouncing ball and as he went down his arm struck the ball with the ref pointing to the spot. Lewis Grabban stepped up to cooly convert from the spot and send the sides in level at halftime.
The Rams started at a higher pace as the second half got underway but the first chance fell to Sunderland after Johnson gave the ball away in midfield but Grabban`s well struck effort cannoned back off the post and James Vaughan was only inches away not long afterwards after another quick break,
Derby gained the upper hand and pushed forward as the half went on. Matej Vydra, on for Andreas Weimann ran at the home defence and then slipped a neat reverse ball to Chris Martin but with only the keeper to beat he blazed over the top. David Nugent, another substitute then missed his kick in front of goal after a cushioned header sat-up nicely for him and Jason Steele was of his line quickly to deny him a second attempt as the game ended all square.
Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Cattermole, Vaughan, Grabban, Galloway, Ndong, Browning, McGeady, Kone, Honeyman
Substitutes not used: Khazri, O`Shea, Matthews, Gibson, Ruiter, Gooch, Asoro
Derby County: Carson, Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth, Huddlestone, Johnson, Butterfield, Weimann (Vydra, 66), Russell (Bryson, 89), Martin (Nugent, 78)
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, Baird, Pearce, Bennett