Rams hold on for victory
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: 20/08/05 7:00pm
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.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 20th Aug
Sheff Utd2 - 1Preston
Coventry3 - 0QPR
Reading5 - 0Millwall
Watford3 - 1Burnley
C Palace1 - 0Plymouth
Stoke2 - 1Luton
Crewe2 - 2Leicester
So'ton1 - 0Norwich
Ipswich2 - 1Sheff Wed
Hull City2 - 0Brighton
Leeds2 - 0Wolves
Derby2 - 1Cardiff
Sky Bet Championship
|16||Brighton and Hove Albion||39||45|