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Pride Park Stadium (ATT 20,911) 27th November 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Brown

Derby Derby County vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Derby 1

T Robinson (69)

ft

Cardiff 1

H Helguson (11)
C Noone (S/O 63)

Cardiff's Craig Noone's sent-off as Derby claim deserved point against league leaders

Last Updated: 27/11/12 10:44pm

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Craig Noone: His sending-off changed the game, allowing Derby to claim point

Craig Noone: His sending-off changed the game, allowing Derby to claim point

Craig Noone's sending-off proved costly for Championship leaders Cardiff, as Derby claimed a deserved 1-1 draw to maintain their fine record at Pride Park.

After falling behind to Heidar Helguson's close-range header in the 11th minute, the Rams, who have lost just once at home this term, enjoyed much the better of proceedings.

Yet it was only after Noone had seen red for two yellow cards in the space of three second-half minutes that Derby found a way through, with Theo Robinson converting a square pass from Craig Bryson.

Both sides had chances prior to the visitors' early opener.

Craig Bellamy should have done better when firing high over the bar from 25 yards, while Derby skipper Richard Keogh leapt highest to meet a right-wing corner, only for Noone to scramble the ball off the line.

Cardiff were soon in front courtesy of Helguson, who was on hand to nod home a rebound after Mark Hudson's looping header had been tipped on to the crossbar by Adam Legzdins.

Michael Jacobs curled an effort narrowly wide and Hudson produced a fine aerial clearance to deny Robinson as Derby responded well.

Nigel Clough's men finished the first half stronger and David Marshall pulled off a fine low save to deny Paul Coutts before Jake Buxton sent a header on to the roof of the net.

Cardiff remained on the back foot after the interval, but could have extended their lead when Bellamy broke clear on the counter. However, the veteran forward once again failed to keep his shot down.

Strong appeals for a Derby penalty were waved away after Noone appeared to block Bryson's goalbound shot with his arm. Yet within seconds, the Cardiff winger was handed a second booking in quick succession following a late challenge on Hughes.

The hosts swiftly capitalised as Bryson surged into the area before squaring to leave Robinson with the simplest of tap-ins.

Helguson almost restored his team's lead when he beat Legzdins to a left-wing cross, yet the momentum remained with Derby until the final-whistle.

Ultimately, the Welsh side were able to hold on, although Paul Connolly was forced to head off the line during six minutes of injury-time.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 43 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Charlton Athletic 42 42
21 Blackpool 43 42
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37

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