Fuller settles dramatic finish
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: 18/09/05 5:06pm
A sensational finish to this clash at Pride Park saw Ricardo Fuller score in the dying seconds to salvage a 2-2 draw for ten-man Southampton.
The tedious first half gave way to a remarkable second period that also witnessed goals from Brett Ormerod and Andrew Davies, as well as a red card for Tomasz Haijto and a retaken penalty for Inigo Idiakez.
The opening period begun with a deceptively high pulse as Southampton should have taken an early lead after just three minutes.
Polish international Kamil Kosowski played a quick one-two with Fuller on the left wing but as Matthew Oakley met his incisive cross from eight yards his volley rebounded off the knee of Lee Camp in the Derby goal.
It was on-loan Bolton man Khalilou Fadiga who was providing the threat for the home side, and the Senegalese star saw his looping free-kick clawed away by Antti Niemi before Claus Lundekvam cleared another dangerous effort.
However, the game burst into life after the break and Saints again threatened as Dennis Wise's free-kick evaded three team-mates and glanced off the post.
Idiakez was improving steadily and his extraordinary bending effort from a free-kick went well wide of the wall before cutting back alarmingly and stroking the side netting.
However, Saints stole in front as Wise used all his experience to take a quick free kick that Fuller back-heeled beautifully into the path of Ormerod, and the striker sidestepped Jeff Kenna to put the visitors in front.
Fuller then went close with a near-post volley before Derby were handed a route back into the game as Danny Higginbotham handled in the box on 80 minutes.
Idiakez's initial kick was saved well by Niemi although the Finn was denied the glory as he was deemed to have encroached and the Derby man made no mistake second time around as he finished emphatically.
Southampton began to lose their rag after feeling hard done by and Harry Redknapp was sent to the stands, only to be joined by Hajto after the stopper received his second yellow card for pulling back debutant Mounir el Hamdaoui.
In between the two dismissals The Rams set up a grand stand finish as Idiakez, again the creator, found Andrew Davies unmarked at the far post to head in and edge Phil Brown's side in front with just five minutes to go.
Morten Bisgaard could have put the tie beyond doubt, but a frantic end to the game was completed when Niemi's long punt was cleared by an advancing Camp.
The keeper headed straight to Fuller who looped a superb first time volley back over the shot-stopper's head from 40 yards to complete a fitting climax to a game that defined the old idiom of a game of two halves.
Click below for match summary:
Derby 2-2 Southampton
Sky Bet Championship
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