The game was only 8 minutes old when lone Rams striker Chris Porter strode into the penalty area and appeared to dived to win the Rams a penalty. Kris Commons then struck the penalty straight down the middle and was saved by the Crawley keeper. This appeared to have an effect on the Rams and the first half was all one way traffic as the Rams tried to stem a tide of red shirts streaming forward in the high wind and rain. Derby's defence were undone with a route one kick from the Crawley keeper. The ball finally landing for Craig McAllister to fire into the Rams net.
Rams Captain Robbie Savage was incensed by a rash foul near the half time break. The challenge by Crawley striker Matt Tubbs was two footed and off the ground, hitting Savage half way up his shin, something all referees are told to clamp down on and usually resulting in a red card . The referee somehow appearing to missed the incident. Savage was on the ground for some time but managed to return to the action .
So half time and the Rams losing to a non league side. Would Clough come up with a team talk or substitution to remedy the situation. The short answer was 'no', he started the second half with the same players and tactics as the first. Although the Rams were now playing with the wind (and rain), it was Crawley who again had the better of the play and the passion to win this game. Derby on a rapidly water logging pitch didn't have any answers and Clough sat motionless in the dug-out trying desperately to sink into his managers coat, apparently without a clue how to change the fortunes of the Rams.
The game looked to be heading for a draw but the determination of Crawley shone through and the Rams buckled under pressure yet again in the dying moments of the game, when Sergio Torres rifled in an unstoppable shot as time ran out for the Rams.
Has time now run out for Nigel Clough, or is the Derby County owners to blame for the most humiliating result in Derby County's history? Will things change or will the American owners continue to deprive a once proud club of serious finance to repair a club that is rapidly nose diving and becoming the laughing stock of the football world?....