Reserves go close

Last updated : 23 November 2004 By The Rambler

Derby Res 0 1 Spurs Res

The Rams went into this, the last home reserve game of November, still not having taken maximum points from a game at Pride Park. In fact their record of only having six points in total made last nights' game against high flying Tottenham Hotspur a big ask.

Steve Taylor has been forced into fielding sides consisting largely of untried youngsters, whereas this team did at least have a sprinkling of first teamers. Both Paul Boertien and Marcus Tudgay have ever been criticised for giving less than 100% and if their example could be made to rub off on the others then the hosts would at least have a chance.

The Rams actually shaded a goaless first half, but with most of their attempts both off target and from distance Marton Fulop in the Spurs goal had little to do.

Their best moments came in the closing minutes of the half. Firstly David Cassidy fed Marcus Tudgay only for the Rams striker to fire wide. 2 minutes before the break Cassidy worked his way into the box but just failed to find the target.

Derby had Lee Grant to thank for remaining on terms though, as a brilliant point blank save from Grant denied Jamie Slabber a certain goal deep in stoppage time.

The visitors took the lead only 2 minutes after the restart with Slabber turning Danny Martin in the area before coolly converting a Mark Yeates cross.

The goal seemed to re-igniting Derby's challenge with Morten Bisgaard twice going close - once from a free kick and a double save by Fulop denying both Tudgay and Gianfranco Labarthe Tome.

With 67 minutes on the clock Giles Barnes who had a generally impressive game joining the attack from midfield unleashed a shot from the edge of the area that Fulop did well to gather cleanly. 3 minutes later Labarthe Tome curled in a shot from the edge of the area that drifted narrowly over. The same player was unfortunate to see a goal bound strike cleared of the line by Phillip Ifil.

By this stage Tottenham should have been 2 goals to the good, but Slabber headed over a shot that he should really have done better with.

Although the Rams once again ended vanquished it was a far more positive display than recent games and Derby could feel unlucky to have come out of the game with nothing.

Rams: Grant, Doyle, Boertien Nyatanga 76), Booth (Labarthe Tome 50), Mills, Martin, Bisgaard, Barnes (Turner 84), Tudgay, Cassidy, Holmes,
Subs: Kirby, Young.
Spurs: Fulop, Ifil, McKie, O'Hara, Mills, Defendi, Ricketts, Jackson, Silva Sousa, Yeates.
Subs: McKenna, Forecast, Dilevski, Malcolm, Lee.
Referee Mr G J Sutton
Attendance 597