Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Wednesday March 14 2007
13th March 2007
The same as usual, Moore or less
A goal three minutes from time enabled the Rams to pick up a precious point in a 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers at Pride Park last night.
Darren Moore rescued what could be a VITAL point for the Rams powering the ball home, just as it looked like Derby would suffer defeat in front of their own fans. But with results not going too badly elsewhere this may prove to be a good point for the Rams.
Billy Davies made two changes to the starting line-up following the Rams 0-1 loss at Birmingham City on Friday, with Mark Edworthy replacing Tyrone Mears who dropped to the bench and Arturo Lupoli replaced Jon Mackin. Former Rams favourite Inigo Idiakez was in the starting line-up in the middle of the Hoops midfield, his first return since leaving Pride Park for Southampton.
The Rams had early chances David Jones` free kick not testing Simon Royce and Steve Howard heading wide. The visitors went close in the 11th minute, Marc Nygaard was found in the box by Lee Cook`s pinpoint cross, but he headed over. But it wasn`t long before the London side had the lead, a long free kick caught the Rams napping and Paul Furlongs shot bounced off the post and Martin Rowlands was quickest to react, headed home the rebound.
The 27,567 home fans were stunned, after all they had all come to see another five goal demolition, but unfortunately Rangers hadn`t read the script. They continued to press and
Cook played in the lively Furlong again moments later, but he fired straight at Stephen Bywater, much to the relief of the Rams faithful. It was all Rangers, as Rowlands tried his luck from 20-yards after another quick break but he was wide of the target.
The Rams went close on the half-hour, Giles Barnes's weak header never threatened keeper Simon Royce. But it was a more positive sign, and the Rams came close to an equaliser on 36 minutes, Jones` free kick found the Rams top goal scorer Howard, whose header was cleared of the line by Cook.
The Rams were now on top and were having their best spell of the game, and on 40 minutes Lupoli cut in from the right flank and his shot cannoned off the post and away to safety. Further chances fell to Jay McEveley and Jones` free kick late on but it was 0-1 at the break and it had been a frustrating first 45 minutes for the Rams but they did show good signs late in the half.
The second half began with Derby pushing men forward looking for a way back into the game, Jones` free kick was deflected off a Hoops defender but Royce saved, and with the Rams pushing forward they were nearly caught out again on the hour Steve Lomas` 20-yard strike brought out a superb save from Bywater.
The Rams went close again moments later Lupoli`s shot was headed off the line by Michael Mancienne, and Moore close-range shot was straight at Royce. The Rams brought on Craig Fagan and Paul Peschisolido to try and get the equaliser but the Hoops were frustrating the Rams, as they looked for their first away victory since November and three VITAL points in their fight for survival in the Championship. Both Rams substitutes combined, Peschisolido found Fagan in the box, and he went down under Stewart's challenge but referee Tanner waved away the players and fans penalty appeals.
It looked a great smash and grab job by the visitors, but there was a twist in the tail, and the visitor`s resistance was ended in the 87th minute. Howard did well to chase down a Fagan pass, he laid it back to McEveley, who whipped over a perfectly weighted cross to the far post and Moore headed powerfully down and past Royce for a deserved equaliser.
Was there time for a winner, the home fans roared on their chargers, and with four minutes stoppage-time, chances fell to Howard, who headed wide and McEveley, who fired wide with a late free-kick.
Derby County - GK Bywater, Edworthy, Leacock, Moore, McEveley, Teale (Fagan 65), Oakley, D Jones (Peschisolido 76), Lupoli, Barnes, Howard
Subs not used - Grant, S Johnson, Mears
Queens Park Rangers - GK Royce, Bignot, Cullip, Rowlands (Ainsworth 27), Lomas (Smith 90), Cook, Stewart, Idiakez, Furlong (R Jones 83), Nygaard, Mancienne
Subs not used - Cole, Kanyuka
Referee - S. Tanner
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Date:Wednesday March 14 2007
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