Pride Park Sradium
Referee: A Madley
|Derby County||Cardiff City|
|Jerome (69, 90+), Vydra 82||Patterson 28|
The scene was set for a great match as Derby County met Cardiff. Both sides had something to play for, Cardiff was looking to extend their second place and automatic promotion hopes, whilst Derby were just looking for the spark to keep their hopes of a play-off place alight.
Gary Rowett made some surprising changes to the team for the match, dropping leading scorer Matej Vydra to the bench and striker David Nugent, referring to start the game with Cameron Jerome as the only recognized striker.
Cardiff was a threat from the start but Derby looked a team on a mission with more energy, movement and determination on what was a very wet evening.
It was Cardiff who made the first telling move of the game however, and Derby was very lucky not to give away a penalty as a driven shot appeared to bounce off the arm of Bradley Johnson.
Derby County was well in the game but a moment of defensive uncertainty again cost the Rams dear as a cross from the left-hand side went over the competing heads of Cardiff’s Gary Madine and Derby’s Marcus Olsson and without letting the ball bounce, Callum Patterson volleyed the ball into the net.
One-nil to Cardiff at the break but Derby didn’t look to be out of the game, and so it proved. As the rain continued to fall the Rams pushed forward. With an hour gone of the game Rowett made his move by putting on leading scorer Matej Vydra, who had looked out of sorts for the previous game against Middlesbrough, but came on looking hungry for more goals.
With the Cardiff fans happy in their snowmen suits, a reference to the postponed game in March for bad weather conditions, all looked well for the Welshmen.
It was a former Cardiff player in Cameron Jerome that was about to change all that. A ball played up to the penalty area saw him use his physical power and hold off Sean Morrison and slide the ball past the advancing keeper with sixty-seven minutes on the clock.
Derby fans were now making most of the noise in the stadium as they continued to look more dangerous and it was substitute Vydra who had the final shot after a dithering Cardiff defender was robbed of the ball by Andre Wisdom, who squared the ball for Vydra to score his twentieth league goal of the season.
Just eight minutes of normal time was left after Vydra put the Rams into the lead and a desperate Cardiff side pushed to get the equaliser, which was their eventual downfall as in stoppage time. A clearly rattled and tiring Sean Morrison was again dispossessed by Cameron Jerome before scoring his second goal of the evening.