Rams rally to claim point
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Derby staged a fine fight-back to claim a share of the spoils against Watford.Derby staged a fine fight-back to claim a share of the spoils in their home clash with Watford.
The Rams were two goals down inside the first quarter of an hour, but got their reward for a determined display when Polish striker Grzegorz Rasiak (pictured) grabbed an equaliser five minutes from time.
Watford led as early as the seventh minute when Heidar Helguson thumped home an emphatic header from Neal Ardley's inviting cross.
Derby almost produced an instant reply, but Marcus Tudgay saw his effort to crash to safety off the crossbar.
Derby's disappointment was compounded moments later when Helguson doubled his, and The Hornets', money.
The Iceland international produced a fierce drive following another Ardley cross to silence Pride Park.
Helguson could, and should, have completed his hat-trick after 21 minutes but contrived to send a close range header wide after losing his marker at the far post.
Derby finally got a foothold in the game seven minutes before the interval when Tommy Smith reduced the arrears.
The former Watford star, who was relentlessly booed by the travelling fans, latched on to Rasiak's knock-down to convert from close range.
Derby began to impose themselves after the break, and Tudgay and Smith both went close to producing an equaliser.
However, Helguson was still posing a threat at the other end and spurned another opportunity to complete his hat-trick.
Just as time seemed to be running out the hosts did find a leveller. Rasiak reacted quickest to meet a Marco Reich centre and steer home his first goal in English football.