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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 Derby County 33 65
2 Middlesbrough 33 63
3 Ipswich Town 33 60
4 Bournemouth 33 59
5 Norwich City 33 59
6 Watford 33 59
7 Brentford 33 58
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 54
9 Nottingham Forest 33 47
10 Blackburn Rovers 33 44
11 Sheffield Wednesday 33 43
12 Huddersfield Town 33 42
13 Cardiff City 33 41
14 Leeds United 33 41
15 Reading 33 40
16 Charlton Athletic 33 39
17 Birmingham City 33 39
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 33 37
19 Bolton Wanderers 33 37
20 Fulham 33 36
21 Rotherham United 33 34
22 Millwall 33 31
23 Wigan Athletic 33 25
24 Blackpool 33 22

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