Derby 1 Ipswich 3

Last updated : 19 January 2002 By Our man at the match

Rams caretaker boss Billy McEwan was brave in his first team selection against Ipswich.

Derby started the match with 3 attacking players or strikers if you will. The only problem was that the midfield of Valakari and Powell could not supply the ball for many meaningful attacks.

Andy Oakes
Oakes fine penalty save couldn't save sad Rams

Andy Oakes came into the side after Mart Poom had been ordered to rest his finger tendons for a month. £3million buy Francois Grenet was replaced by 21 year old Richard Jackson in defence and Simmo Valakari returned to midfield.

Neither side made much impression on each other's goal in the opening half-hour. The first Rams shot was a weak effort by Fabrizio Ravanelli in the 31st minute. Ipswich keeper Marshall having little difficulty saving the effort.

The Rams efforts and tactical naivety was typified in the 39th minute as a hurriedly taken free kick by Deon Burton found Ravanelli at least three yards offside. "School boy stuff", as a well-known Derby commentator would say.

The half lived up with three minutes to go to half time Horacio Carbonari was guilty of holding down Marcus bent as the pair fought for a high ball in the box. Mr Durkin had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Marcus Stewart walked calmly up to take the penalty, he shoots, and Andy Oakes dives to his left and turns the ball on to the post and the rebound I cleared.

If Derby County needed a warning and some luck, here it was.

No changes in Rams personnel during the interval but pretty soon they may have wished they had. With only two minutes gone of the second half all the good work by Oakes is undone as Marcus Bent beats Higginbotham to a through ball and tucks the ball past Oakes.

Deon Burton
Burton misses Rams 3rd consecutive penalty
The Rams looked dead and buried even at this early stage of the second period but with referee Durkin seeing an apparent pull in the area on Ravanelli in the 52nd minute the Rams where handed a lifeline. There was not a rush of players to take the resulting penalty but eventually Deon Burton stepped up. His shot had little direction or venom and Marshall saves. The third consecutive penalty the Rams have thrown away this season and all at vital moments of the match.

The game is put out of Derby's reach in the 66th minute as Peralta scores the tractor boys second. People begin to leave the stadium with 20 minutes to go, choruses of "sack the board" are now being heard all around the ground as well.

Malcolm Christie
Christie scores a superb a consolation goal
The Rams find a small spark of life with ten minutes remaining. Malcolm Christie nods a cross from the Rams left sweetly past Marshall's left hand. The dream of stealing a point however lasted only another 8 minutes as Reuser scored Ipswich's third goal and placed another nail in the Rams relegation coffin. On mass half the stadium headed for the exits some fans surely never to return if this is all that is going to be on offer at Pride Park.

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