Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Sunday April 8 2007
6th April 2007
Fagan opens his account for the Rams
The Rams automatic promotion push faltered at the Walkers Stadium where they let slip the lead and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Leicester.
Craig Fagan netted his first goal for Derby to give the Rams a 1-0 half-time lead but Matty Fryatt scored a second half equaliser to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.
Billy Davies named an unchanged side from the 2-1 win at Barnsley, with Steve Howard still serving his two match ban. The Foxes made two changes to the side that lost 2-4 to Stoke with Stephen Hughes and Levi Porter replacing Shaun Newton and Andy Johnson.
The hosts pressed first, but Hughes' effort from the edge of the Rams box was sliced high and wide of Stephen Bywater's goal, but Leicester opened brightly.
The Rams settled and gradually began to win a more possession but they hadn`t fashioned a goal scoring opportunity. The Foxes had a penalty appeal waved away when Darren Moore brought down Patrick Kisnorbo as he raced to meet a Danny Tiatto cross from the left, but referee Webb wasn`t interested in their protests.
But the Rams broke on a quick counter-attack through Giles Barnes who found Fagan in the left channel from where the 24-year-old slotted past advancing goalkeeper Paul Henderson in the 23rd minute, to score his first goal for the Rams since his move from Hull City.
Moments later Barnes fired over on the turn from Darren Currie's cross from the left wing but Barnes needed treatment before the break after tumbling awkwardly in the Leicester penalty area.
Leicester again opened the second half the brighter, with Hume shooting inches over Bywater's crossbar in the 49th minute, and three minutes later, Tiatto's fired just wide after he robbed Matt Oakley on the edge of the penalty box. The Rams were struggling and the Foxes were pressing hard for the equaliser, and Hume was denied by an acrobatic Bywater save.
Fagan then tested Henderson but the keeper saved comfortably, and Jay McEveley picking out the unmarked Jones, but he glanced his header wide. And moments later Leicester were level as Matty Fryatt, on as a 56th-minute substitute for Elvis Hammond, received the ball from Jason Jarrett, and stroked a shot past Bywater.
The Rams should have earn the three points late on when Fagan fired straight at Hendeson from 10-yards, and at the other end Bywater saved a Porter shot to keep the Rams still clear at the top-of-the-table.
Leicester: Henderson, Stearman, Kenton, Kisnorbo, Maybury, Hughes (Yeates 65), Jarrett, Tiatto, Porter, Hume, Hammond (Fryatt 56).
Subs Not Used: Logan, Johansson, Horsfield.
Derby County: Bywater, Mears, Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Fagan, Oakley, Jones (Bisgaard 74), Currie (Lupoli 80), Barnes, Macken (Teale 59).
Subs Not Used: Grant, Edworthy.
Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).
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Date:Sunday April 8 2007
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