Derby still need more than a miracle to survive
Derby County fought back from a two-goal deficit to take a valuable point away from Reading in a 2-2 draw in the EFL Championship on Monday.
The home side went ahead in the final 10 minutes of the first half when a simple long ball up field from goalkeeper Luke Southwood was flicked on by Andy Carroll and fantastically finished from 20 yards by Junior Hoilett.
The goal came after Derby had been putting pressure on the Royals’ goal but without greatly troubling Southwood.
Liam Rosenior was in charge of the Rams on the day as manager Wayne Rooney was absent due to illness. The stand-in manager saw his side go 0-2 down 10 minutes into the second half when another standard free kick was eventually forced home by Hoilett.
Conceding goals from errors have been common for Derby this season, despite their impressive defensive record. But in recent weeks the East Midlands club have also benefited from them.
They did so again in the 86th minute at the Madejski Stadium on Monday. A high cross from Max Bird down the right wing went straight through the hands of Southwood and bounced in off substitute Colin Kazim-Richards.
It was the third successive game the former Turkish international had come off the bench to score for the Rams. His first during this run was a gift from West Bromwich Albion in a 1-0 win and the second a gift from Stoke City for a 2-1 win.
Reading fans could be excused for being confident their side would still hold onto the three points as the Championship’s bottom side had barely tested their goalkeeper all match.
However, their fans in the stands showed nervousness as it was only those from Derby making any noise. And they were rewarded for their travels when Nathan Byrne’s cross from the right wing was met with a bullet header from Curtis Davies to make it 2-2.
The draw leaves Reading directly above the drop zone and still 11 points clear of Derby, and with two games in hand.
What it all means is Wayne Rooney’s side need more than a miracle if they are to be playing Championship football next season. The second half of the season means several players are in the final months of their contract, and they could be forgiven for their mind being elsewhere – another disadvantage for Wayne Rooney and his coaching staff.
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