|Derby County 0 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Saturday, 6th April 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Derby 0-1 Town
Saturday, 6th Apr 2013 17:26
Skipper Carlos Edwards slammed home an injury time winner to claim a crucial three points for the Blues at Derby. The Rams should have been out of sight by half-time with Conor Sammon hitting the post when through one-on-one with Scott Loach, who saved a subsequent Jamie Ward penalty.
Town boss Mick McCarthy recalled skipper Carlos Edwards, Andy Drury, Jay Tabb, David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Frank Nouble, Michael Chopra and Guirane N’Daw dropping to the bench having started at Millwall on Monday.
Lee Martin, who was also in the side that drew 0-0 at the Den, missed out on a place in the 18 having been ill this week, while Aaron McLean and Reece Brown have also been unwell.
The game was preceded by a perfectly-observed minute’s silence for the Philpott children who died in a fire in Derby in May last year.
Chances were rare in an even opening 10 minutes, Rams’ striker Conor Sammon getting closest to a shot on goal when he broke in from the left but was thwarted by Tommy Smith, who slid in to block the Irish striker’s effort at goal.
On 12, with Town starting to have most of the ball, Aaron Cresswell’s cross from the left was flicked away for a corner ahead of McGoldrick with the home side showing an early tendency to give the ball away in their own half.
Jamie Ward forced the first save of the game from Scott Loach in the 17th minute, the keeper batting away the diminutive former Sheffield United man’s edge of the area strike, although not overly convincingly. Tabb cleared the loose ball.
Richard Stearman picked up the first yellow card of the match in the 27th minute for blocking Ward as he looked to run past him.
Loach did well to get down to his right to save Craig Bryson’s low 20-yard shot which bounced through a crowd of players in the 29th minute.
The Rams should have gone in front just before the half hour mark when Smith’s challenge on Bryson as he broke towards the penalty area cannoned off the midfielder and sent Sammon in one-on-one with Loach. The striker slipped the ball past the keeper to his right but saw his shot strike the post. It was a fortunate escape for the Blues.
Prior to those two opportunities, neither side had looked particularly threatening, but Town immediately went up the other end and McGoldrick hit a well-struck effort which Derby keeper Frank Fielding saved above his head.
Soon after, Jeff Hendrick scraped a strike across the face of goal then Bryson shot well over from distance as the Rams continued to threaten.
On 34 Edwards escaped down the right, cut in and sent across a low ball which Murphy just failed to get to a few feet from goal. At the other end, Ward curled a shot over from just inside the box after more good work from Sammon.
Loach comfortably held a Paul Coutts shot in the 39th minute before Smith’s name was added to referee Eddie Ilderton’s book for fouling on-loan Norwich man Chris Martin.
Sammon flicked Craig Forsyth’s cross over in the 41st minute with the Rams in control and looking much the more dangerous side.
In the 44th minute Derby were awarded a penalty when one-time Town academy schoolboy and ballboy Richard Keogh was pulled to the ground by Smith as a corner came over from the left. Given the number of similar offences which go unpunished the Blues defender might consider himself a little unfortunate, although referee Ilderton was probably correct going by the letter of the law.
Ward was the man charged with taking the spotkick and sent the ball down the middle but the keeper got a toe to the ball to stop it and then claimed it before anyone could reach the loose ball.
There was no further incident before the half-time whistle with Town somewhat fortunate to go in on terms, given the penalty miss - Derby's fourth in succession - and Sammon failing to take his chance when he was through on goal.
The Blues had had a lot of the ball in the early stages but the home side’s midfield gradually got on top and the Rams created more than enough openings to have found themselves a good couple of goals in front at the break.
The second period began much as the first had ended with the Rams having most of the ball. However, on 55 McGoldrick twisted and turned on the edge of the box before hitting a shot which was blocked, then Murphy headed over from a cross from the right.
Just before the hour mark, Blues boss Mick McCarthy swapped Guirane N’Daw and Frank Nouble for Drury and Murphy. Shortly afterwards, Sammon claimed a penalty when falling inside the Town box but it looked an obvious dive and the frontman was lucky not to pick up a yellow card.
On 63 the home side thought they’d got their noses in front when Sammon crossed low to Martin, who tapped into the net, but having strayed offside.
The minutes later, McGoldrick cleverly turned his man on halfway and took the ball on into the area before hitting a shot which was blocked. The striker caught a defender in the face with his boot as he went after the rebound and the referee’s whistle had gone before Tabb shot wide.
Nouble headed an Edwards cross to Fielding in the 73rd minute, the Blues’ skipper receiving a late clattering from Forsyth as he sent the ball in. As so often during the game, Cresswell over-hit his freekick into the box.
Buxton headed a Coutts corner from the right wide in the 76th minute but Derby had proved less of a threat during the second period, although still having had more of the chances.
Loach saved Coutts’s low shot down to his right on 79, then Ward headed wide from a Coutts cross as the Rams looked to put the Blues under pressure. Two minutes later, Forsyth was booked for the latest in a succession of fouls on Edwards.
The Town goal was continuing to come under threat, Luke Chambers hooking away from inside the six-yard box, then Martin slamming a freekick against the wall after N’Daw had handballed.
Michael Chopra replaced McGoldrick for the final five minutes or so, the on-loan Nottingham Forest man ending his 93-day loan, although he will remain at the club with the Blues continuing to pay his wages for the rest of the season.
Derby sub Michael Jacobs claimed a penalty after going to ground as he ran past Cresswell on the edge of the box, a slightly more convincing claim than Sammon’s but one which still failed to impress referee Ilderton.
With one minute of normal time remaining Cresswell smashed a half-volley from the left edge of the box only just over the bar after exchanging passes with Chopra with the Blues suddenly the ones putting on the pressure.
The game was deep in injury time when skipper Carlos Edwards netted only Town’s away second league goal this year to win the game. N'Daw won the ball from Coutts inside the Town half and found the Trinidadian, who brought it forward before lashing a powerful strike to Fielding’s right and into the net for his second goal of the season.
There was little time for Derby to hit back before referee Ilderton blew the final whistle to cement a vital three points for the Blues.
Town certainly rode their luck in the first half and Derby could have been out of sight at the break, but as ever under McCarthy the Blues stuck to their task, defended stoutly before Edwards’s late winning strike.
In the context of the relegation battle it was a huge victory, particularly with other sides in the relegation battle dropping points. The Blues now find themselves up to 14th in the table on 53 points, six from the bottom three.
Derby: Fielding, Freeman, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson (Davies 86), Ward (Jacobs 80), Sammon, Martin. Unused: Legzdins, Davies, Gjokaj, Bennett. Roberts, Doyle.
Town: Loach, Stearman, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, Drury (N’Daw 59), Tabb, McGoldrick (Chopra 84), Murphy (Nouble 59). Unused: Lee-Barrett, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Emmanuel-Thomas. Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne and Wear). Att: 23,081.
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