Derby County 1-1 Coventry City: Strong second half for the Rams keeps safety hopes alive
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Derby County managed to fight back against Coventry City to earn a point after going behind early in the game at Pride Park.  Matt Godden gave the visitors the lead with a powerful finish before a Tom Lawrence penalty ensured the Rams came away with a point.

  • Story of the game

Derby started the match lively by dominating possession, creating some minor chances in the process. A succession of corners for the home side also helped to establish their dominance in the opening minutes, but nothing came of it.  

Despite Derby’s early dominance, it was Coventry who could have opened the scoring in the ninth minute as Matt Godden had a good chance for the visitors. The forward, who has scored 11 times so far this season, latched onto a through ball but saw his effort saved by Ryan Allsop in the Derby goal.

The Sky Blues were forced into an early change in the 12th minute as Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter was replaced by Ian Maatsen after picking up an injury.

Ravel Morrison was full of confidence having scored three goals in two games prior to the match. The Jamaican international looked to add another goal to his tally, as the attacking midfielder attempted to curl the ball past Simon Moore in the Coventry goal, however, the Sky Blues’ keeper was equal to the effort.

The Rams had another good chance shortly after when captain Tom Lawrence was picked out at the back-post by Max Bird after promising prospect Malcolm Ebiowei had won possession of the ball in the middle of the pitch.

It was Coventry who got the first goal of the match in the 27th minute. Godden, who had missed a good chance earlier in the game opened the scoring. The attacker had scored a penalty against Derby in the reverse fixture when the sides drew 1-1 back in October.

The Sky Blues moved the ball quickly around the Derby midfield, Jake Bidwell then received the ball before finding Godden who linked up with Callum O’Hare to play a well-worked one-two back to the forward to fire the ball past Allsop.

Derby started the second half in the same manner as the first, very lively. Early penalty appeals came from the home side as Lee Buchanan went to ground in the penalty area, however, referee Darren Bond waved away the call.

The Rams continued to ramp up the pressure on Coventry as they went searching for an equaliser. A free-kick was awarded on the edge of the box for a handball, but Lawrence’s effort went straight into the wall.

Derby were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute when Lawrence was brought down in the area by Ben Sheaf. The skipper instantly got up to convert from 12-yards, sending Moore the wrong way to equalise for the Rams.

Viktor Gyokeres blazed the ball over the bar for the visitors, a chance he should have done better with. The Swedish forward was one-on-one with Allsop after charging down on goal but failed to hit the target.

Martyn Waghorn received a round of applause from the Derby fans when he entered the field. The former Derby player helped to keep the Rams in the Championship by scoring a brace on the last game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, which inevitably sent the opponents down.

Gyokeres had another opportunity for Coventry in the 81st minute, but again the forward was not clinical enough in the final third, firing straight at Allsop.

Derby were awarded a free-kick in the 85th minute which Lawrence stepped up for again, however, a good save by Moore managed to tip the ball around the post. Another free-kick was awarded afterwards which Ebiowei stepped up for this time which again had to be tipped over.

The Rams hit the post right at the end of the match, which many inside the ground believed had crossed the line. This inevitably turned out to be the last chance of the match.

Derby’s next game is at Pride Park after the international break, when they take on Preston North End on Saturday, April 2. As for Coventry, they face Blackburn Rovers at home on the same day.