Football: Derby count cost of their indecisiveness
Derby County 0 Bradford City 1
Monday 27 September 1999
Like their neighbours at Nottingham Forest, Derby fans still dine out on the deeds of Brian Clough. But the idea that those days might return in the current era is as far fetched as to suggest that this year's title will not be won by Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea.
Under Smith's shrewd stewardship they have at times been close enough to sniff the aromas. A result or two in their favour in either of the last two seasons could have taken them into Europe.
It has all been done on prayers and a shoestring budget, which is commendable, but also means it could all go rapidly and horribly wrong.
Derby have lost four times at home already. Saturday's defeat did not register alongside the 5-0 humbling by Sunderland on the catastrophe scale but was embarrassing nonetheless, inflicted as it was by a team likely to have a limited life in the Premiership.
Smith's side expended a good deal of energy but made an abundance of possession count for nothing. Francesco Baiano, whose Derby career has blown hot and cold, produced one of his better performances, but the support for him was inadequate, particularly after Esteban Fuertes was sent off in the first half for a crime of pure petulance against Bradford's David Wetherall.
Seth Johnson is a tenacious scrapper in the Lee Bowyer mould and at 20-years-old, a player to watch. But Derby lack a schemer in midfield, not to mention a reliable goalscorer. Smith says he has funds to reinforce his squad but admits most of his targets are priced higher than he can afford.
Paul Jewell praised his Bradford team for their "magnificent defending" and Gary Walsh for his excellent goalkeeping, but even he conceded that they failed to create much of an attacking threat.
Not that they needed to with Derby in a mood of extraordinary generosity. Fuertes lashing out at Wetherall balanced the numbers after Andy Myers had picked up a second yellow card. Then Horacio Carbonari, aided by some goalkeeping indecision, headed a Gunnar Halle free kick into his own net.
Goal: Carbonari o.g. 66 (0-1).
Derby County (3-4-1-2): Hoult; Prior, Carbonari, Elliott; Borbokis (Harper 65), Delap, Johnson, Dorigo; Baiano (Murray 83); Fuertes, Sturridge (Christie 78). Substitutes not used: Knight (gk), Schnoor.
Bradford City (4-4-2): Walsh; Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Myers; Blake (Windass 78), Whalley, Beagrie (Westwood 76); Saunders (Jacobs 61), Mills. Substitutes not used: Clarke (gk), Rodriguez.
Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn).
Bradford: Myers. Bookings: Derby: Johnson, Baiano; Bradford: Myers. Sending- off: Derby: Fuertes.
Man of the match: Walsh.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester City were so good against Liverpool I felt like turning the television off
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match after suffering muscle injury
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
William Carvalho to Manchester United: Midfielder on the cards for Louis van Gaal after Arturo Vidal doubts grow
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...