Derby County 0-1 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 28th Nov 2017 20:51
Callum Connolly’s first goal for the Blues in the fifth minute has given Town a 1-0 lead over Derby County at Pride Park at half-time.
Joe Garner was a notable absentee for the Blues. The former Rangers striker has been managing an ongoing shoulder problem since pre-season, but it's understood it’s not that forced him to miss the game.
Young striker Ben Morris was subbed at half-time in yesterday's U23s draw at Charlton in order to be a late addition to the travelling party.
Emyr Huws was handed his first start of the season and Jordan Spence and Bersant Celina returned to the team, while Dominic Iorfa and Freddie Sears dropped to the bench.
Derby were unchanged for the third game running with former Blues loanee Tom Lawrence starting.
It was Lawrence who made the game’s first attempt at goal in the fourth minute, but the Wales international mistimed his header from Andreas Weimann’s right-wing cross and sent the ball very wide of goal.
A minute later, the Blues took the lead. Ward won a corner on the right with Town’s first attack, Waghorn whipped the corner in to the near post and Callum Connolly flicked it goalwards.
The ball struck the underside of the bar, Scott Carson in the Derby goal pawed it away, but referee Scott Duncan signalled that Hawk-Eye had indicated that it had already crossed the line. All the outfield Town players joined in celebrating the on-loan Everton man’s first goal for the Blues.
But for the technology, it’s unlikely that the officials would have given the goal with neither official appearing to react as if they had initially thought it had gone over the line.
The goal led to a few nerves in the Derby side with the ball given away needlessly on a number of occasions in the minutes after the Blues had gone in front.
However, skipper Luke Chambers was forced to make an important challenge midway inside the Blues’ half with Matej Vydra otherwise away and in the clear.
On 12 Ward wasn’t too far away from a second with an overhit cross which Carson confidently allowed to pass his post, although perhaps rather more closely than he had probably anticipated.
Town were defending solidly, working hard, keeping the ball confidently in spells and breaking quickly when they could with Derby having much the greater share of the possession but without being able to find a way through.
The Rams carved out their first real opportunity since going behind as the game reached the half-hour mark, Lawrence crossing from the left and Weimann volleying well over when he will feel he ought to have done better.
Three minutes later, Lawrence was booked for diving after going to ground rather dramatically as he took the ball past Chambers inside the box on the Rams’ left. It appeared Lawrence had run into the Town captain to try to draw the foul and then made far too much of any contact there was.
Curtis Davies stabbed a Lawrence corner from the left against Huws in the 37th minute with the Blues continuing to remain resolute in defence but by now threatening more rarely at the other end.
However, on 42 Celina sent Ward away down the left and the ex-Spurs man won a freekick from which Huws saw a header blocked.
As the half moved into one minute of additional time, Weimann out-battled Webster and hit a shot which deflected wide but Town saw out the remaining seconds of the half to go in a goal up at the break.
Having gained the early lead from another excellent Waghorn set piece and Connolly’s equally impressive flicked header, the Blues were able to sit back and challenge Derby to break them down.
The Rams had really only managed to create a couple of chances, Weimann’s volley over and Davies’s blocked effort from the corner.
Town had continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and had also had spells of possession of their own but without having been able to conjure up a second goal.
Derby County: Carson, Forsyth, Keogh (c), Lawrence, Baird, Weimann, Vydra, Nugent, Davies, Ledley, Huddlestone. Subs: Mitchell, Russell, Martin, Wisdom, Pearce, Thorne.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Webster, Knudsen, Skuse, Connolly, Ward, Huws, Celina, Waghorn. Subs: Gerken, Iorfa, Bishop, Sears, Downes, Nydam, Morris. Referee: Scott Duncan (Northumberland).
Photo: Action Images
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