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Derby County (1) 4 - 4 (4) Ipswich Town

Sky Bet Championship 2013-14

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Manager: Darren Wassall

Pride Park 19:45

Attendance: 21,037

Manager: Mick McCarthy

Match Number: 3520

Goals

Home
 Zak Whitbread (11)
 Craig Bryson (46)
 Jamie Ward (60)
 Craig Bryson (87)

Substitutions

Home
Ben DaviesMason Bennett (46)
Conor SammonJohn Eustace (46)
Jamie WardJohnny Russell (90)

Cards

Home
 John Eustace (65)

Teams

Home

Lee Grant

Jake Buxton

Zak Whitbread

Adam Smith

Craig Forsyth

Craig Bryson

Jamie Ward

Ben Davies

Will Hughes

Chris Martin

Conor Sammon

Substitutes

Home

Saul Deeney

Max Lowe

John Eustace

Mason Bennett

Johnny Russell

Michael Jacobs

Jamie Hanson

Match Report

Steve McClaren left dazed after Derby County fright against Ipswich Town

When Steve McClaren claimed that Derby County’s owners now wanted some excitement, he can hardly have envisaged such a night as this: a 4-4.

McClaren endured a tortuous evening from his seat in the stand as Derby recovered from a dreadful first-half display to claw back a point, as the former England manager was given an early warning of his new squad’s bewildering unpredictability.

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town had been irresistible but the visitors crumbled two minutes from time when Craig Bryson converted from close range to complete an extraordinary homecoming for McClaren.

Derby’s new head coach will take charge of his first game proper this weekend against Leeds United but this experience will have left him with no illusions about the task ahead. Derby were two goals behind before McClaren had even got comfortable, due to the calamitous home defending that had conspired to help push Nigel Clough towards the exit.

Zak Whitbread had only been signed on Monday from Leicester City but he will never forget this debut, heading Aaron Cresswell’s corner into his own net emphatically in the third minute, though he claimed a push in the back from ­Ipswich’s Christophe Berra. Daryl Murphy was then left unmarked to head in a ­second, effectively wrecking the ninth-minute standing ovation Derby fans had planned as a tribute to Clough in honour of the No?9 shirt he wore as a player.

Whitbread produced a virtual carbon-copy header into the Ipswich net to reduce the deficit but Ipswich restored their two-goal advantage when Cresswell was allowed an embarrassing amount of room to squeeze in a shot at the near post.

It was only to get worse for Derby 11 minutes before half-time. After a brief period of accurate passing and communication between the back four, Derby had conceded four goals for the first time at Pride Park since April 2011. Once again, it was Cresswell who provided another excellent delivery with his corner finding Murphy, whose header found the ­bottom corner, triggering a mass walk-out of the home fans.

At that stage McClaren would surely have reassessed his lofty target of a play-off place this season.

Darren Wassall, Derby’s Academy manager who was in caretaker charge, simply had to make changes and he introduced the experienced John Eustace and teenage forward Mason Bennett at half-time.

The home team took only two ­minutes after the break to restore some hope when Craig Bryson raced into the area to slot his finish under the advancing Dean Gerken.

Whatever Wassall had said at half-time had worked, for Derby were much improved and their steady pressure further paid off on the hour when Jamie Ward added a third.

Ipswich appeared on course to cling on for victory but Derby avoided another home defeat when Bryson rammed in from close range to send McClaren home relieved – but undoubtedly in a daze.

John Percy (The Telegraph)

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