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The RamZone Wrap: Derby Hang On As Terriers Bite Back!
Friday, 27th Dec 2013 15:24 by Daniel J Sewart

All good things must come to an end and though it was the case for the Rams winning run, fact is we are still unbeaten in 8 and only 4 points off top spot. So why did so many of us feel let down by the result?

The reason the draw felt so dispiriting is…. now wait for it… we have all started to get used to winning!! Can you believe it!?

I know, strange isn’t it that this pessimistic bunch had actually started to believe we could grab the 3 points each and every time we run out.

Of course that is possible but this time around... not so much.

Derby were shooting for 8 in a row and the last time the club achieved such a feat, one of the victories in that run was a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield, on Boxing Day.

History nearly repeated… nearly!

The Rams replaced Keogh with Keane due to the Captain’s injury and Hendrick was unavailable because of concussion but otherwise there were no major surprises with McClaren’s team selection.

Huddersfield had a host of early chances but few with any real genuine threat to the Rams.

It took a while for Derby to work themselves into the game but once they did they dominated possession and proceedings in the first 45.

In the way of chances, Will Hughes set Martin up with a great ball from which the resulting shot was saved by Terriers keeper Alex Smithies with one hand.

But it was a case of history repeating when the referee pointed to the spot after Jamie Ward was fouled in the box by Joel Lynch.

Chris Martin bravely stepped up to bury the ghosts of last weeks miss but unfortunately only added another spook to the haunted house inside his head when his tame shot was saved by Smithies.

The rebound fell Martins way but he could only manage to hit it straight at the keeper with his follow up shot, shortly followed by a spot of gardening as Chris used his knuckles to dig up some turf.

New penalty taker next time round please. Bryson anyone?

The Rams did not have to wait long for the wrong to be righted as Andre Wisdom charged down the right and delivered a pinpoint cross to the back post where Martin sweetly guided the ball to Bryson who was able to direct his shot onto the post and into the net for his 11th goal of the season.

HT: 0 – 1

After the break Huddersfield dug in to produce a far better display as the half progressed. Their engine roared into life against the run of play, when on 60 minutes, Danny Ward's teasing cross was kept out by Grant but the rebound fell into the path of substitute Duane Holmes. He could only manage to sky it from just less than ten yards.

The home side were taking control and attacking the Rams at every opportunity with Oliver Norwood going closest when his 25-yard effort flew wide, while shortly after Adam Hammill tested Grant when he drove at the Rams stopper but luckily he was equal to the challenge.

Danny Ward and Hammill both had claims for a penalty but referee Craig Boyeson was not interested in either.

Keane put the ball into the net for the Rams but unfortunately it was ruled offside, something the travelling fans would hotly debate later.

Huddersfield finally got result for effort when, with 10 minutes to go, Paterson found space in the Rams box to cleverly lift the ball over Lee Grant.

The home side amped up the pressure and the Rams fell away as the closing stages were franticly fought. It was a fight the Rams were losing and it could have been a lot worse had Grant not managed to save at full stretch, from Holmes' stinging shot from range.

There was pressure, there were corners but the Rams hung on – just.

Perhaps they could have sewn it up in the first half but in the end they can count themselves lucky not to have been sewn up themselves and managed to keep hold of a point.

FT: 1 – 1

Rams Reaction:

Rams Head Coach Steve McClaren:

"The performance was on a par and probably better than in the victory over Charlton and at times in the game against Doncaster Rovers”. We should have been three or four up in the first half, when we were sublime and played some great football.”

"I thought the boys were magnificent but we could not get that second goal and so we were only one up at half-time. We expected pressure from Huddersfield in the second half because they had got out of jail but we still had opportunities, although we didn't keep the ball as we should.”

"Huddersfield piled forward and took risks. If you don't get the second goal, you are always at risk. It was a fair result in the end."

Match Stats – Huddersfield / Derby:

Possession: 51% / 49%

Corners: 10 / 2

Shots (On Target): 25 (5) / 10 (5)

Fouls: 11 / 11

Yellow Cards: 4 / 0

Match Info:

Attendance: (18,159 inc. 2000 Travelling Rams)

Huddersfield: Smithies; Wallace, Gerrard (Lynch 22’), Smith; Dixon, Hogg (Holmes 58’), Clayton, Norwood, Hammill (Scannell 80’); Ward, Paterson

Unused Subs: Bennett (GK), Woods, Gobern, Stead.

Goals: Paterson (86’)

Derby: Grant (GK), Wisdom, Keane, Buxton, Forsyth, Eustace, Hughes (Cisse 76’), Bryson, Dawkins (Russell 71’), Martin (Sammon 84'), Ward.

Unused Subs: Legzdins (GK), Bennett, Freeman, Whitbread.

Goals: Bryson (30’)

Match Video Highlights / Reaction:

Photo: Action Images

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