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A POINT at home to Newcastle ensured Derby's Premiership status as they dominated the game for large periods and The Magpies will be pleased with the result as Shay Given had to be at his best to keep his side in the game.

Georgian international, Giorgi Kinkladze did his best to single-handedly secure The Rams' league position and in the eighth minute he ghosted past two defenders before chipping the diminutive Given only to see his skill go unrewarded as the ball thudded off the underside of the bar, hit Given on his back and went out for a corner.

Kinkladze dominated the midfield and had opposite number, Robert Lee in trouble from the off, after an early booking, two more fouls by the Newcastle man tried the patience of referee Alan Wiley.

Derby made light of the loss of Rory Delap and Seth Johnson and Tony Dorigo and Adam Murray played admirably in their place.  Indeed Dorigo was involved in the first opening of the game as he played a great one-two with Deon Burton before Burton launched a ball into the Newcastle box.

Murray volleyed goalwards only to see Given save well then pounce to claw the ball away from the goal as it threatened to dribble over the line.

Bobby Robson watched in increasing frustration as his defence was torn open seemingly at will by the home side.  After just 13 minutes he decided to make a change and brought on Didier Domi for Alessandro Pistone, the Italian seemingly injured although the substitution may have just been tactical.

Alan Shearer looked a forlorn figure upfront for Newcastle and he was forced to return to playing with his back to goal.  Temur Ketsbaia forced Mart Poom into his first save of the game on the half hour as he turned and fired in an effort from 20 yards that Poom turned round the post.

Gary Speed then went close with a shot across Poom that the keeper could not hold.  Having suffered from one or two physical challenges, Kinkladze went off just before the interval and Dean Sturridge came on in his place.

At the start of the second half, Malcolm Christie almost got on the end of a Burton high ball forward but Nikos Dabizas did well to plug the gap.

Newcastle replied with a Lee 25-yarder which just went over the bar and Kieron Dyer also tested Poom and sensing a Magpie revival, Robson brought on Kevin Gallacher for Solano.

Lee and Ketsbaia both had chances for Newcastle but Burton came closest to breaking the deadlock as with eight minutes left, Sturridge got free on the right and pulled his cross back for the Jamaican international to flick a header goalwards.  Given changed direction in midair and pulled off a remarkable save on the line.