Fulham 1-1 Derby County: Vydra equaliser earns point for Rams

The Rams top scorer came to the rescue after Oliver Norwood had given the home side the lead on the half-hour mark.

Fulham 1-1 Derby County: Vydra equaliser earns point for Rams
Richard Keogh of Derby County (l.) battles for possession with Sone Aluko of Fulham (r.)/Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Fulham
1 1
Derby County
Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Odoi, Edun (de la Torre, min. 64), Norwood, Cairney, Ayite, Fonte (Kamara, min. 60), Sessegnon
Derby County: Carson, Baird, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth, Huddlestone, Ledley, Lawrence, Vydra (Martin, min. 72), Johnson (Weimann, min. 72), Nugent
SCORE: 1-0, Norwood, min. 30. 1-1, Vydra, min. 50
REFEREE: Darren Bond (ENG) Booked: Odoi (min. 53)

Fulham and Derby County shared the spoils after the two teams played out a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage. Matej Vydra's 50th minute strike cancelled out Oliver Norwood's 30th minute goal that had given the home side the lead.

The Rams sit in eighth place, level with Leeds United and Middlesbrough on points, but with the inferior goal difference among the three clubs whilst the Cottagers are in 17th.

Changes for both sides

Derby manager Gary Rowett made three changes to the side that were beaten 4-2 at home by Reading before the international break - a result that snapped their seven-match unbeaten run.

Chris Baird started at right-back against his former club in place of Andre Wisdom, who missed out due to personal reasons. Joe Ledley returned in midfield after missing the previous game with a hamstring injury, while  Vydra was also recalled to the starting line-up.

Johnny Russell and Sam Winnall dropped to the bench. Chris Martin was also named among the substitutes, against the team he played for on loan last season. Skipper Richard Keogh was fit to retain his place, having been forced off early on against Reading because of a thigh strain which kept him out of Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off against Denmark. Tom Lawrence (dead leg) and Bradley Johnson (rib) had both shaken off knocks and were OK to start.

Fulham boss Slava Jokanovic made three changes following the defeat at league leaders WolvesKevin McDonald was suspended, while Stefan Johansen and Neeskens Kebano were both out of action because of injury.

Tayo Edun made his league debut for the home side while Tom Cairney and Tomas Kalas were both called into duty.

Nothing to choose between the sides in opening minutes

Early on, Ryan Sessegnon got into the area on the left but his cut-back was cleared away by Ledley. In the 10th minute, David Nugent almost pounced on a Kalas headed backpass but Cottagers keeper David Button just got there first.

Three minutes later, Fulham were nearly in front. Norwood chipped a cross in from the left and Floyd Ayite tucked in between Curtis Davies and Craig Forsyth but his clever back-header was well saved by Rams keeper Scott Carson, who dove low to his left to push the ball around the post.

Fulham take the lead courtesy of Norwood

Davies was penalized for a foul on Rui Fonte around 35 yards from the Derby goal on the half-hour mark. Norwood's long-range attempt struck Nugent's arm in the Rams wall and another free kick was awarded.

Norwood had another go and though his powerfully-struck shot looked fairly close to Carson, the keeper could not get a hand on it as the ball flew into his net to give Fulham a 1--0 lead.

Derby level after denying potential Fuhlam second

Vydra almost found himself in on goal after nicking the ball off Tim Ream but Denis Odoi was there to make a crucial tackle. Derby ended the half well but Ream did well to head clear as Johnson attacked Baird's inviting cross in added time.

Early on in the second half, Forsyth made an important sliding tackle to deny Ryan Fredericks after the Fulham right-back had advanced into the area. That looked to be key as Derby equalised in the 50th minute.

Lawrence's neat little pass from just outside the box found the run of Vydra and he calmly flicked the ball past Button from eight yards with the outside of his right boot.

Embed from Getty Images

Both teams have a go to win the game

Odoi trod on the ball, presenting it to ex-Spurs and Hull man Tom Huddlestone and his first-time pass over the top released Nugent, but his angled drive was parried away by Button.

Fulham made a couple of substitutions and one of them, Luca de la Torre, almost had an immediate impact in the 65th minute, heading just over after Ayite hooked the ball in from the right.

Derby lost Johnson to injury, the midfielder replaced by Andreas Weimann as he limped off while appearing to hold his hamstring. Martin came on at the same time, to a chorus of boos from the home fans who still remember his controversial loan spell at the club.

Fulham pushed for a winner, with Ayite drilling a low shot across the face of goal in the 75th minute. Moments later, the Cottagers had a penalty appeal turned down when Lawrence tangled with Sessegnon in the area.

The influential Ayite then blazed over a first-time effort from Aboubakar Kamara's cut-back from the right. Cairney fired over as the clocked ticked down and, in stoppage time, Odoi's shot appeared to strike the arm of Baird in the box - but Derby survived and earned themselves a share of the spoils.