The Rams went into their second away fixture of the season looking to improve on a loss and a draw from their opening two fixtures. Feeling hard done by after coming away from Bolton pointless, they could again argue that they came away with less than they deserved at Molineux.
Manager Nigel Clough stuck with the same starting eleven from mid-week, with James O’Connor continuing to deputise for the ill Jake Buxton at the centre of the Derby defence. Wolves were obviously weakened by the mid-week departures of Matt Jarvis and Steven Fletcher, but still retained a strong looking line-up.
It was the home side who had the first chance of the game when Ebanks-Blake hit the bar after eleven minutes, much to the relief of Fielding in the Derby goal. However, after that it was all Derby as they went in pursuit of a goal.
Wolves goalkeeper Ikeme kept the Rams at bay, pulling off a string of brilliant saves from both Conor Sammon and Jamie Ward. One effort saw Ikeme tip a Ward shot onto the post before the home defence managed to scramble the ball clear. Jamie Ward was outstanding for Derby and gave the Wolves defence plenty to think about all afternoon. Derby continued to press forward, but it was the home side who took the lead against the run of play after 35 minutes. Doyle met a cross from Edwards which left Fielding with no chance of preventing the opening goal.
The story was pretty much the same in the second half as Derby again pushed forward, yet Ikeme seemed unbeatable. It looked like one of those days where the ball was just not going to get past the home goalkeeper.
Derby boss Nigel Clough has received quite a bit of criticism lately for ill judged substitutions. This time however, he got them spot on! Nathan Tyson replaced Will Hughes after 69 minutes and Theo Robinson and Michael Jacobs replaced Paul Coutts and Conor Sammon twelve minutes later.
Robinson had been dropped from the squad on Tuesday night and reprimanded by Clough for disclosing it on Twitter, however he became the hero of the day for Derby, when in the third minute of time added on he met Hendricks touch on to curl in an equaliser.
All in all, a good away performance from Derby, though that said three points could have been gained with a little more clinical finishing in front of goal! Conor Sammon with a few more matches under his belt should bring in a few goals.
For Wolves there is plenty of cash available to upgrade their team and they will surely will improve once additions are made.
Wolves – Ikeme, Zubar, Johnson, Berra, S Ward, Peszko, Edwards (Elekobi 78), Davis (Forde 59), Doumbia (Jonsson 86), K Doyle, Ebanks-Blake. subs not used – De Vries, Stearman, Sigurdsson, Nouble.
Derby – Fielding, Brayford, Keogh, O’Connor, Roberts, Coutts (Jacobs 81), Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes (Tyson 69), J Ward, Sammon (Robinson 81). Subs not used – Legzdins, C Doyle, Gjorkja, Freeman.
Man of the match – Carl Ikeme
Attendance – 21,861 (Away not confirmed, but approximately 1,400)