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Match Report


Posted Sat 07 Apr 12 at 14:11 PM


Town kicked off the Easter weekend of fixtures with a point after holding Derby to a goalless draw at Pride Park.

Both sides had chances to the win the game with Ben Davies hitting the post for Derby in the second-half, before Jay Emmanuel-Thomas followed suit for Town.

Paul Jewell named an unchanged side for the clash at Pride Park, following Town's win over Barnsley last time out.

Town made an encouraging start to the game and Emmanuel-Thomas created the first chance of the game after six minutes, before the midfielder fired high over the bar from distance.

Six minutes later Grant Leadbitter tried his luck from 25 yards out, but Derby 'keeper Frank Fielding was equal to the effort and held onto the ball well.

The stopper was then again called into action to deny Michael Chopra with a fine save after 17 minutes. Daryl Murphy played in the striker who turned in the box before firing in a shot that Fielding expertly tipped behind for a corner.

The hosts did have a great chance of their own to break the deadlock though, as a counter-attacking move saw Theo Robinson race clear after 20 minutes, but a combination of Aaron Cresswell and Damien Delaney did enough to thwart the striker.

Cresswell then made another fine block two minutes later to deny Paul Green, who had been played in by the fit-again Jamie Ward.

Lee Martin was impressing in midfield and he expertly laid the ball off the Andy Drury on the edge of the box, but the former Luton man dragged his shot wide after 24 minutes.

Town went close again just before the half hour mark, with Martin again involved. The midfielder cut inside a couple of defenders before firing in a shot from 25-yards that Fielding did well to push around the post.

From the resulting corner the ball broke to Leadbitter, but his drive from the edge of the area sailed just wide of the target with Fielding rooted to his line.

But the Rams were still posing a threat on the counter due to the pace of Robinson and he should have broke the deadlock 11 minutes before the break, but flashed his shot wide after connecting with Gareth Roberts' cross.

That proved to be the last meaningful action of the first-half as the sides went in level at the break.

Blues made an encouraging start to the second-half and created a good opening five minutes after the restart. A good break out of defence from captain Carlos Edwards saw him play in Chopra, who passed to Murphy, but the Celtic loanee failed to keep his shot down and it flew over Fielding's bar.

The Rams then went close to breaking the deadlock themselves, but Robinson's acrobatic bicycle kick flew just wide of Lee-Barrett's post following a Ben Davies corner after 58 minutes.

Two minutes later the Derby duo combined again, with Davies crossing for Robinson but the forward headed wide of the target from eight yards.

Davies was becoming a real threat out wide for Derby and the winger came closest to opening the scoring after 65 minutes, but his shot come back off the post after breaking clear of the Town defence.

But Blues were still in the game and five minutes later saw the woodwork deny Emmanuel-Thomas breaking the deadlock.

Jason Scotland laid the ball into the winger's path who curled an effort beyond the reach of Fielding but unfortunately saw it rebound back on the foot of the post.

The Rams thought they had opened the scoring with five minutes remaining as skipper Jason Shackell rose highest in the box to head towards goal, but Cresswell was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.

Whilst at the other end Scotland went close to snatching a win for Town with a deflected effort that flashed just wide.

That was the closest either side came to winning the game and in the end the draw was a fair reflection of the afternoon's play.

Town host Leicester at Portman Road on Monday to complete the Easter programme of fixtures.

Derby: Fielding, Naylor, Buxton, Shackell, Roberts, Green, Bryson, Hendrick, Davies, Robinson, Ward (Tyson 78). Subs not used: Severn, Bailey, Bennett, Carroll.

Booked: Shackell

Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Leadbitter, Drury, Emmanuel-Thomas (Bowyer 82), Martin (Scotland 69), Murphy, Chopra (Stevenson 85). Subs not used: Wright, Sonko.

Att: 24, 156 (679 Town fans)

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