Ram Raid, Thorne helps himself to 3 pts. Website reaction
More about today though.
Thanks to a normal National Rail Saturday service I was able to make it to Derby in three hours including a London changeover from my holiday location in deepest Essex. Arriving at Kings Cross to swap over to St Pancras was like starring the movie 28 Days Later, Euston Rd, one of the busiest throughfares in London, was totally empty. What a wierd feeling. The "fast train" then took only 90 mins from London to Derby, very comfortable.
Pride Park was visible for a good while as the train edged into Derby. It's a new stadium, a bit Meccano looking from the outside but once inside it's a superb venue. A delightful hot pastie warmed me for the first half.
After the teams took to the pitch the first job was to hold a minutes silence in respect to the victims of the Tsumami is South East Asia. Can I congratulate every single person in a crowd of over 22,000 for an immaculate silence. It was quite emotional to be thinking about such a disaster and the respect paid by the supporters was spot on. The local fire brigade was collecting outside the ground towards the relief effort and their buckets were being rattled with coins at a steady rate.
Both teams contributed to a decent game of football, the chances though were falling to City. Langley produced a point blank save from Camp the keeper. Jobi McAnuff saw two chances saved before Thorne scored what turned out to be the winning goal. City won a throw wide right, Rhys Weston lauched the ball across the box and bounced between the bumbling Derby defenders who looked on horrified as it sat up for the unmarked Peter Thorne to head past Camp and send the City fans wild.
Credit to the Derby's No. 27 Idiakez, he smacked a shot against the post from 25 hards that left Warner motionless and then a free kick for over 30 yards that hit the bar, both superb strikes. Warner apart from that though was troubled only by crosses and through balls.
Half time meant a second pastie, my diet and New Year resolutions will start next Tuesday when it's back to work. I'm hoping for a celebration drop of shandy after the Forest game before I embark on a health kick.
Unlike at Watford, City opted to play football in the second half as well as the first. Chances fell to Cameron Jerome, his gangly style of running and strength dragged Derby left and right and he managed several efforts that went high and wide. That's not a criticism though, he earned the right to have a go because of his running and movement.
Graham Kavanagh and Inamoto both worked hard, they tackled hard, tracked back and looked to create chances. McAnuff found more space today than he has for a while, the space created acted as a valve to relieve any pressure Derby were trying to build. If there was any cause for concern it was down the City right, Langley and Weston were overrun at times but as the game wore on they made sure thay made the big tackles when it mattered. City were fortunate actually that the ref missed a blatant handball from Rhys Weston that would have give Derby a late penalty. I thought that cancelled out Pechcisolido' s blatant dive though that showed him up to be a cheat. I've always thought him to be a good player but his decision to try and con a penalty out of the referee has lost any respect I had for him. City saw out the game with some sterling defending from the centre halves.
Danny Gabbidon won header after header, he controlled ball after ball and always made the right choice. He was eclipsed though by James Collins. Ginge was injured at Watford and written off for this game but he came back and made the starting line up.
His contribution was worthy of a 10 out of 10. Not one header missed and countless crucial clearances when Derby threatended. I've said enough times in the past, after teams have kept City at bay, that we could have done with this defender and that defender but today Collins produced a complete defensive performance.
Graham Kavanagh kissed his badge, kissed his captains armband and along with the rest of the team, who all huddled together after the final whistle, proved that a bit of passion from the team can work wonders. Every player earned respect today and it was appreciated all round.
After being quick to slag Lennie off when we underperform and seem to be a team of individuals then I must concede that today his players played for him and he pulled off a superb result.
Welcome to 2005, it was just about a perfect day.