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.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Luke Shaw arrives a week early for Manchester United pre-season training after cutting short post-World Cup holiday
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Brazil vs Netherlands World Cup 2014: A history of the third-place play-offs
Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Liverpool and Barca confirm the striker has been sold in £75m, five-year transfer
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...