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iPro Stadium (ATT 31,102) 2nd May 2010 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: C Webster

Derby Derby County vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Derby 2

J McEveley (45+4, 48)
D Martin (62)

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Rams raid downs Cardiff

Much-changed Rams dispose of Premier League hopefuls

Last Updated: 02/05/10 3:58pm

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McEveley: Opened scoring

McEveley: Opened scoring

Cardiff's play-off preparations took a knock as they suffered a 2-0 loss at the hands of a depleted Derby side at Pride Park.

The likes of Stephen Bywater, Paul Green, Stephen Pearson, Rob Hulse and Chris Porter have joined the Rams' lengthy injury list recently, so Dean Moxey, Ben Pringle and David Martin were handed rare starts for the hosts.

And the changed side took the lead three minutes after the break when Jay McEveley powered home a close-range header from Kris Commons' free-kick.

The Rams then doubled their advantage and sealed the points on 63 minutes when David Martin broke down the left flank before firing a low shot into the bottom corner past Peter Enckleman.

Warm the hands

City - who finish the season in fourth and take on Leicester in the play-off semi-finals - made nine changes to his team with his eye on the Foxes clash.

For County, Kris Commons made his first appearance for over two months following a hamstring problem, while youngsters Mark O'Brien, Callum Ball, Ryan Connolly and Jeff Hendrick were named on the bench.

Commons should have put Derby ahead after only 40 seconds. Robbie Savage slipped Nicky Hunt in behind the Cardiff defence and his low cross from the right was steered wide by the Scotland international from 10 yards out.

There was little else in the first half to warm the hands of the 31,102 inside Pride Park.

Ross McCormack's curling free-kick was pushed over the crossbar by Saul Deeney after 14 minutes before the same player flashed a shot narrowly wide just before the break.

In between, Tomasz Cywka worked Enckleman with a low shot after winning back possession on the edge of the Cardiff area.

More entertaining

In stark contrast to the previous 45 minutes, the start of the second half was much more entertaining.

McEveley broke the stalemate and soon afterwards Commons spurned another opportunity from 10 yards out after reacting quickest the rebound following Enckleman's save to deny Michael Tonge.

Martin made it 2-0 just after the hour mark and, with the game won, Derby manager Nigel Clough handed first-team debuts to Ball and Connolly.

McCormack always provided the biggest threat for Cardiff and the Scotland international forced a superb save from Deeney late on.

His 25-yard shot clipped the top of the crossbar via the fingertips of the Rams keeper with three minutes remaining.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 45 88
2 Bournemouth 45 87
3 Middlesbrough 45 84
4 Norwich City 45 83
5 Ipswich Town 45 78
6 Derby County 45 77
7 Brentford 45 75
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 45 75
9 Blackburn Rovers 45 64
10 Charlton Athletic 45 60
11 Birmingham City 45 60
12 Nottingham Forest 45 59
13 Cardiff City 45 59
14 Sheffield Wednesday 45 59
15 Leeds United 45 55
16 Huddersfield Town 45 54
17 Fulham 45 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 45 51
19 Reading 44 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 45 46
21 Rotherham United 44 42
22 Millwall 45 41
23 Wigan Athletic 45 39
24 Blackpool 45 25

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