Derby fought back from three down at half time to snatch a point against Bristol City with an incredible second half display at Pride Park.
Bristol City came into the game, 20th in the league, just three points above relegation and on a run of just one win in their last ten. They started off quickly when debutant Matty Taylor scored his first for the club. A corner was whipped in by loanee David Cotteril and headed towards goal by Aden Flint before Will Hughes cleared it off the line, the ball then fell to Taylor who slammed home from barely a yard out.
The Robins quickly got their second when top scorer Tammy Abraham struck for the seventeenth time this season. After a quick attacking move, Matty Taylor’s cross was palmed away by Scott Carson before the ball fell to Abraham who side-footed into an empty net.
This led to Rams manager Steve McClaren making two changes as he brought on Ikechi Anya and Jacob Butterfield for Craig Bryson and Bradley Johnson, with the latter being left incredibly frustrated by the substitution. This changed Derby’s system from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with Camara, Ince and Anya playing behind Darren Bent.
In what was a quite brilliant first half from Bristol City, were three up before the break as Abraham got his second. This time, Derby failed to clear Joe Bryan’s cross and again with an empty goal in front of him, Abraham boosted his tally, rounding off a dire first half for the home side.
Derby started much better in the second half and within ten minutes they had a goal back. After a marauding run down the right wing, Chris Baird whipped in a pinpoint cross to the head of Darren Bent who scored with a diving header from a few yards out.
Bristol City then had an opportunity to get a fourth when Matty Taylor somehow managed to fire over from close range when it appeared much easier to score.
The miss came costly when the Rams got themselves right back into the game. Again the goal was created on the right side when this time Ikechi Anya crossed to the head of Tom Ince who found the bottom right corner for his twelfth goal of the season.
The comeback was complete when Ince was brought down by Scott Golbourne in the area leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty to the home side. Darren Bent stepped up and finished coolly, though the keeper did get his hands to it. The goal put him into double figures for the season, with ten in all competitions, six in his last seven appearances.
Both teams searched for a winner but were unable to find it. Steve McClaren and Lee Johnson were both annoyed by how their sides played as both teams had first and second halves which contrasted massively. A draw seemed the right result, though it was the away side were holding on at the end.
Steve McClaren speaking post match:
Richard Keogh speaking post match:
On reflection, the performance from us wasn’t great but the players showed fight to get back into it and gain what could turn out to be a crucial point come the end of the season. First half display incredibly worrying though.
Derby remain eighth, five points off the play offs and next face Neil Warnock’s Cardiff at Pride Park on Tuesday.