• DMC

REPORT: Rams forced to share the spoils with the Owls

By Kieran King

Chris Martin's penalty rescued Derby County from a first defeat at Pride Park since August as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Steven Fletcher’s excellent first-half strike gave Garry Monk’s team the lead before Martin’s late penalty handed Derby a share of the spoils which meant they stretched their unbeaten home run to nine matches.

Wednesday started the brighter of the two sides and created a couple of superb opportunities to take the lead within the first few minutes.

Firstly, Barry Bannan’s delivery was met by Fletcher, who flicked the ball on towards Morgan Fox at the back post, but it was superbly intercepted by Scott Malone to turn the ball behind.

Then from the resulting corner, Moses Odubajo’s cross caused havoc in the Rams box and it fell to Fletcher, but his low effort was blocked before Fox’s close-range shot flew over the bar via a deflection.

The Owls continued to press in an attempt to break the deadlock and they their persistence paid off, as they deservedly opened the scoring mid-way through the first-half.

Craig Forsyth’s mistake allowed Bannan to slide a pass through to Fletcher, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box for his 11th goal of the campaign.

As the half wore on, Derby grew into the contest without conjuring-up many clear-cut chances. Tom Lawrence did well to drive past two Wednesday defenders, but his long-range attempt was excellently blocked. Then, Duane Holmes’ dangerous long throw-in made its way to Jason Knight, but he could only fire a half-volley over the crossbar.

Jordan Rhodes nearly doubled the visitors’ advantage just before half-time after Adam Reach’s cross found the former Norwich striker, however, his looping header was tipped over by Ben Hamer, as the Owls led going into the break.

Derby began the second period on the front foot and went close to levelling the scores a minute after the restart when Holmes’ delivery from the right-wing was met by Martin, but he was unable to keep his header down.

Minutes later, a well-worked Rams move presented Knight with an opportunity just outside the penalty area, but his 25-yard shot lacked power and rolled inches past Cameron Dawson’s right-hand post.

In a half starved of many chances, Derby were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute after substitute Jack Marriott was brought down by Moses Odubajo inside the box.

Martin stepped up and converted the spot-kick into the bottom corner past Dawson, who dived the opposite way.

Wednesday were reduced to ten-men late on as Odubajo was given a red card following a second bookable offence.

The Rams came close to scoring an unlikely winner in injury-time through Marriott as he met Lawrence’s cross, but his header flew inches over the bar.

Moments after, the referee blew the final whistle as Derby remained 16th, whilst The Owls moved down a place to eighth after Brentford's win against Cardiff.

Derby County: Hamer, Forsyth, Lawrence, Evans, Martin, Holmes, Davies ©, Bogle, Knight (Marriott 68), Malone, Whittaker (Waghorn 68).

Unused Substitutes: Roos, Wisdom, Dowell, Lowe, Bird

Attendance: 26,203

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