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iPro 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 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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