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What I.Saw: 3 Dubious Penalties, 6 Goals & A Coote!
Sunday, 26th Apr 2015 13:34 by I.Saw

Daft O'clock. Train to Grantham. Catch a Virgin to Kings Cross, they run out of hot food by 08:20, by four minutes after leaving station, the last ham toasty sold to number one in the queue (I'm number two).

No cold sandwiches either, only crisps, chocolate or biscuits.

Stagecoach's inefficiencies strike again, getting massive subsidiaries to not even provide the most basic of services. Who said "private" is better?

Arrive on time, hungry. Head to Borough Market for breakfast. Rub a red ceramic flower bud in "Pulia", an Italian deli, for supposed good look after eating. Sample and sniff the wonderful flavours and smells of the Market, a foodie’s heaven.

Beer calls, the Wheatsheaf, the Southwark Tavern, a swift exit as the police target a bunch inside, as the modern day equivalent of a "Black Maria" arrives we escape just before it kicks off thankfully.

The Market Tavern drink pints of "Rocket Fuel" from the North Yorkshire Brewing Company, well you have to don't you, before switching to Alloa's fruity session beer "Birds & The Bees".

Happy we head to London Bridge, finishing off the last of the Italian blue cheese we bought on the market.

Crushed onto the train to South Bermondsey, it's ten past two, team news filters down the coach. Connor Sammon is starting as our sole striker, Bent is ill, Chris Martin benched, our balloon has been pricked, deflated is an understatement.

A minutes silence in memory of the Bradford fire tragedy was impeccably observed before the Derby faithful burst into a brief song for Colin Bloomfield, the Radio Derby presenter having sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer earlier in the morning.

Game underway, Millwall fighting for their lives, Derby flirting with game. Pretty patterns from midfield break down in the final third, we bleat as the Lions roar.

Sammon gives 100%, everything he has, it's not enough, not at this level and when you can't even get a game for Rotherham as they battle relegation we can't be the only ones for feel that way. We don't get on his back; we know he's trying his best.

Best talk about Lee Grant, a routine back pass sliced. Lee Gregory, a true "Number Nine" pounces, rounds the keeper he shoots and centre half Craig Forsyth's despairing slide can't keep the ball out.

One nil down - it's more than we deserve.

Childish antics from the home crowd see the ball thrown from one part of the stand to another rather than back in play. The intelligence of a long lost breed of fan found again in the Isle of Dogs.

Millwall, press, Jeff Hendrick dallies, he loses the ball in midfield and a direct run on goal from Lee Martin sees Richard Keogh found guilty of stopping the shot with his arm as the hits the deck trying to block the ball in the penalty area. It's harsh.

Gregory blasts the ball into the net and the Lions lead 2-0.

Arguably we don't deserve "nil", it's poor Derby, very poor.

As the half ends a rare free kick edge of the Millwall box and Tom Ince with a low curler pulls one back 2-1.

Second half and Johnny Russell replaces the ineffectual Jesse Lingard from the off. Off his rocker, the referee gives another penalty, for what we didn't see, but as the Millwall corner comes across two players falling to the floor and the official points to the spot. It's four minutes into the half.

Gregory takes, no messing, 3-1 and a hat trick for the man.

Quarter of an hour later we take the game seriously. Martin and Raul Albentosa replace Warnock and Simon Dawkins.

Ince theatrically tumbles in the box and it's a third penalty.

Chris Martin shuffles then fires, the net ripples 3-2.

Our idiots let off a flare in the stand behind the goal, it's not clever, it's not big, it's moronic.

Meanwhile on the pitch the Lions try for four, no sitting back on their laurels.

Another goal comes but it's the Rams who get it, a wonderful volley by Hendrick, the goal of the game to level the scores.

It ends at three all, as games sometimes do with ball and nearly all the players near the dug out as the race to get off and beat the onrushing fans commences.

Overall a point earned rather than two lost. Over the ninety minutes Millwall were the better more direct team, you could almost feel sorry for them on that performance. Almost.

It was though a game whose result was engineered by the referee, three dubious penalties and a fourth which was turned down the clearest of them all arguably.

He was a right Coote; I think that's right, or some such close word.

And to wrap everything up we arrived back at Kings Cross just as the doors locked on the 17:48, we missed it by the hair of a dog. And every train thereafter was dry.

Just another day on the road as a Football fan, good job we're not "customers" isn't it.

Match Info / Rams Team:

Ref: David Coote

Crowd: 12,571

Derby: Grant, Shotton, Keogh, Forsyth, Warnock (Albentosa – 64’), Hendrick, Dawkins (Martin 64’), Hughes, Ince, Lingard (Russell 45’), Sammon.

Unused Subs: Christie, Ward, Naylor, Roos.

Match Stats – Millwall / Derby:

Goals: Gregory 26’, 36’ (pen), 50’ (pen) / Ince 42’, Martin 70’ (pen), Hendrick 85’.

Possession: 45% / 55%

Shots On Target: 7 / 5

Shots Off Target: 5 / 7

Corners: 8 / 3

Fouls: 22 / 12

We Said / They Said - Match Reaction:

We Said – Steve McClaren:

"We're making hard work of everything. You expect to score three and four away from home and win games. We're not even thinking ahead of next week. We've got a job to do and we need to keep character."

They said – Neil Harris:

"I can't pick the players up at the moment. They will come in on Monday morning and pick themselves up, and we have to sit and wait to see how Rotherham go on Tuesday.”

"It's really simple: if Rotherham get the win on Tuesday we're relegated. I won't be watching the game."

Highlights / Post Match Interviews:

Up Next For The Rams:

Derby vs. Reading

iPro Stadium

12:15pm– Saturday 2nd of May

Photo: Action Images

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