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iPro Stadium (ATT 23,153) 20th August 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: T Kettle

Derby Derby County vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Derby 2

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Rams hold on for victory

By Ben Blackmore.   Last Updated: 20/08/05 7:00pm

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Derby wrapped up another three points with a 2-1 win at Pride Park, but manager Phil Brown was made to sweat after his side almost squandered a two-goal lead against Cardiff.

County marched into a strong position with goals from Morten Bisgaard and Inigo Idiakez, but a late lack of concentration saw Cardiff rally after they were given hope from Cameron Jerome's strike eight minutes from time.

The hosts were unchanged following last week's victory over Plymouth, and they started impressively as Grzegorz Rasiak brought a fine save from goalkeeper Neil Alexander.

Bisgaard then treated the home fans to something special, capping off some magical skill with a terrific strike that left Alexander no chance in the Cardiff goal.

Tommy Smith wasted a golden opportunity to extend the lead soon after, but the Derby faithful were not left to rue the miss for long, after Smith was cut down inside the area by Jermaine Darlington. Idiakez stepped up to cooly slot home the resulting spot kick.

Tempers were frayed throughout the encounter, and the half time break did nothing to settle things down, with ten players going in the referee's notebook.

Derby continued to look impressive in the second period, with Bisgaard and Paul Thirlwell going close, but as the game drew to a seemingly predictable close, The Rams took their foot of the pedal.

Seth Johnson was reintroduced to the jubilant home fans, but Cardiff were in no mood to give him an easy homecoming, with Jerome touching home Neil Ardley's cross near the end.

However, Cardiff could not complete the comeback, and it was Derby who came closest to finding the net again, with Marcus Tudgay striking an upright.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Middlesbrough 35 66
2 Derby County 35 65
3 Watford 35 65
4 Bournemouth 35 63
5 Norwich City 35 62
6 Brentford 35 61
7 Ipswich Town 35 60
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 57
9 Nottingham Forest 35 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 35 48
11 Sheffield Wednesday 35 46
12 Charlton Athletic 35 45
13 Birmingham City 35 45
14 Cardiff City 35 44
15 Leeds United 35 44
16 Huddersfield Town 35 42
17 Bolton Wanderers 35 41
18 Reading 35 41
19 Brighton and Hove Albion 35 40
20 Fulham 35 39
21 Rotherham United 35 37
22 Wigan Athletic 35 31
23 Millwall 35 31
24 Blackpool 35 22

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