Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday August 27 2007
The Rams slipped to the foot of the Premier League table following a 1-2 home loss against Steve Bruce`s Birmingham city at Pride Park on Saturday. Blues striker Cameron Jerome`s double sealed Birmingham's first win of the season, and left the Rams still without a victory.
It was a nightmare start for Billy Davies` side, when Jerome struck after just 32 seconds, firing low past Stephen Bywater from a narrow angle after good work from Mikael Forssell.
Birmingham continued to dominate with the Rams new centre half combination Claude Davis and Andy Todd struggling to cope with the pace of Jerome and Forssell. But the Rams were also guilty of giving the ball away cheaply in the middle of the park, and were fortunate not to be further behind.
The Rams slowly began to get into the game and the best chance fell to Scottish international Gary Teale, his long-range strike was superbly tipped around the post by Maik Taylor. But it was the visitors who looked the more likely to add to their lead, Forssell was sent clear but Bywater was out quickly and spread himself to save. The danger wasn`t over there, from the resulting corner Radhi Jaidi headed against the crossbar.
The visitors continued the second half the way they finished the first, Jerome played Forssell in after a quick counter-attack but Jay McEveley stood firm to block his shot. The Rams still looked lethargic but against the run of play Derby`s skipper brought them level on 51 minutes. New signing Eddie Lewis wasn`t closed down on the left hand side of the box and his cross picked out the unmarked Oakley at the back post and his first time shot gave Taylor no chance.
It was a different game now the Rams looked more composed on the ball and went close to taking the lead, Stephen Pearson was sent clear by an inch perfect through ball from Teale but the Blues defended desperately.
The Rams lost Davis to an injury on the hour, replaced by Darren Moore, and three minutes later the Blues capitalized with the winner. Larsson, who had came on at the same time as Moore, flicked on Stephen Kelly's cross for Jerome to volley in his second goal. It was poor defending, and the Rams will have to do better if a quick return to the Championship is to be avoided.
They pressed late for the equaliser, Craig Fagan saw his shot cleared off the line by Kelly and in injury- time Taylor superbly denied Oakley a second.
Derby: Bywater, Griffin, Davis (Moore 60), Todd, McEveley, Teale (Leacock 86), Oakley, Pearson, Lewis (Earnshaw 73), Howard, Fagan.
Subs Not Used: Price, Jones.
Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Parnaby, Jaidi, Ridgewell, Kelly, Kapo, Muamba (Sadler 85), Djourou, McSheffrey (Nafti 73), Jerome, Forssell (Larsson 60).
Subs Not Used: Kingson, O'Connor.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).
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Date:Monday August 27 2007
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