Pride Park had been the place to see goals in the Championship this season but today didn’t follow that as The Rams drew a blank with The Seagulls.
After seeing so many goals in previous games at Pride Park this one seemed so action-less, with few and quite far between opportunities to score.
Derby lined up in a 4-51 formation, leaving Sammon up front on his own and Robinson in as a left-winger. This formation accommodated Will Hughes in a central-midfield role, rather than out wide. I think this was mainly to not allow Brighton to play the ball much because in recent times they’ve been described as a good passing side and sat pretty in the play-off positions going into the game.
The first half saw very few chances and quite little action, The Rams however did edge possession. During the break, Nigel Clough made a change with Will Hughes making way for Michael Jacobs. This change wasn’t tactical, the 17-year old midfielder had a sore knee.
The second half saw more chances for the home side, but those chances did mostly come in the final 20 minutes. Prior to that Brighton were denied by Adam Legzdins’ crossbar. Bryson and Brayford were among those that came close, their efforts were expertly saved by former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
The Rams pushed a winner but unfortunately couldn’t score in the spell of late pressure.
Adam Legzdins put on a good performance, coming in for an injured Frank Fielding. He pulled off a good couple of saves in the second half, denying Brighton.
I was very impressed with full-back John Brayford, he put on a good display. He was very involved with the attacks, linking up with some of the midfielders.
Jake Buxton and Richard Keogh continued at centre-half. Both Keogh and Buxton had a decent game, but not sparkling. They did everything asked really.
James O’Connor came into the line-up at left-back, filling in for Gareth Roberts who had picked up a hamstring injury. O’Connor didn’t have a brilliant game, he struggled a bit I think.
Nigel Clough opted for Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes and Robinson to start in midfield. Paul Coutts was switched to the middle in the second half, where we haven’t seen him yet in a Rams shirt. Robinson, out of position, definitely looked out of place and really should have never started there. Theo should have started up front with Sammon or even if 4-5-1 was needed to be kept – Tyson is far better on the wing than Robinson. Craig Bryson was active in the midfield, racing forward to help out Conor Sammon.
Conor Sammon was The Rams’ lone striker, coming back into the side after being dropped on Wednesday at Middlesbrough. The former-Wigan striker worked tirelessly today and lacked support, Bryson was his main support. He was almost having to flick on balls to himself!
Michael Jacobs, coming on for Hughes, was pretty lively. It was also good to see Ben Davies be involved and come on as a sub.
The Rams clearly missed Jamie Ward a lot today, he’s been instrumental in Derby’s attack this season.
Brighton were only good when they’d got the ball in their half, they never created anything apart from a couple of bits in the second half. Whereas The Rams probably did deserve all three points for more attacking pressure.
Nigel Clough- “The two leading scorers were not on the pitch today and I would say that contributed to the 0-0 without a doubt. In games like that when they are so tight you need someone to do something a bit special occasionally and get you a goal from nothing and maybe there’s wasn’t that player on the pitch to do that today.You are never overly satisfied with a point at home and a 0-0 but in the context of the week we’ve had and the side we were up against I thought it was a very good point.There was no hesitation at all bringing Adam Legzdins in, he’s an excellent number two and he’s been pushing Frank all the way.”
Line-Up: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O’Connor, Coutts, Hughes (Jacobs, 46), Hendrick, Bryson, Robinson (Davies, 76), Sammon. Other subs: Deeney (gk), Gjokaj, Freeman, Tyson, Bennett.
Line-Up (Brighton): Kuszczak, Bruno, El-Abd, Greer, Bridge, Bridcutt, David Lopez, Dicker, Buckley (Dobbie, 34), Orlandi (Hammond, 61), Barnes. Other subs: Ankergren (gk), Calderon, Dunk, LuaLua, Agdestein.
Derby’s next fixture isn’t until 20 October ,against Blackburn at home, because of the international break.