Rams rescue late point
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Peschisolido salvaged a late 2-2 draw for Derby against Southampton.
Paul Peschisolido salvaged a 2-2 draw for Derby with a last minute equaliser against Southampton.
In an action-packed encounter, Southampton had recovered from a poor start to take a 2-1 lead, before surrendering their advantage at the death.
Georg Burley's side have been widely tipped to challenge for promotion this season, but they were slow to emerge from their summer slumber as Derby dominated the first half.
The Rams nearly opened the scoring direct from a corner, but Jermaine Wright was alert to the danger and cleared Inigo Idiakez's inswinging delivery off the line.
Teenage sensation Giles Barnes was the undoubted star of the first half, terrorising the Southampton defence whenever he picked up possession and dribbled, and he created a good chance for Steve Howard with a neat cross from the right, only for the striker to scuff his effort wide.
Howard made amends after 35 minutes though, as he won the ball in the air to send Seth Johnson through on goal. The former Leeds man's first effort was superbly kept out by Kelvin Davis' point-blank save, but he followed up to poke the ball home and hand Derby the lead.
Southampton were a different side after the break, and nearly levelled immediately when Alexander Ostlund, a replacement for the injured Claus Lundekvam, fired a fierce volley into the side netting from a tight angle.
After 15 minutes of sustained pressure Saints were rewarded with a superb equaliser from Gareth Bale, curling an exquisite left-foot free kick into the top corner which left goalkeeper Lee Camp with absolutely no chance.
Just six minutes later Saints completed a remarkable turnaround, with Bradley Wright-Phillips cutting inside Marc Edworthy and rifling home an unstoppable drive to hand them the lead.
They could have extended their lead when Wright's clever chip drifted just wide, and Southampton were made to rue their lack of killer instinct as Peschisolido came off the bench to score against the run of play.
The veteran forward was released through the centre and showed all his experience by keeping cool and slotting neatly into the bottom corner to give The Rams a deserved share of the spoils.