Carlisle's header destroys Derby's unbeaten record

Derby County 1 Watford 2
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The Independent Football

Phil Brown was sent from the dug-out in Saturday's draw at Burnley and raced angrily along the touchline in protest at the late goal that yesterday cost Derby County the Championship's last unbeaten record.

It was not the decisive header by Watford skipper Clarke Carlisle that raised the heckles - it was the fact the assistant referee raised his flag then lowered it as Anthony McNamee swung over an 87th minute free-kick harshly awarded against Seth Johnson.

Brown challenged the referee Clive Penton at the final whistle as Derby's players left in fury, even if Watford deserved their points.

The Derby manager has taken unusual steps in addressing his side's poor home record, insisting on no more Mr Nice Guy. Just look at the macho poses of players and management in the programme.

Brown admits the posturing is aimed at making match-days more gladiatorial. Alas, with Grzegorz Rasiak isolated in attack, Derby only had one blade between them. Even after Adam Bolder's fourth minute goal, the midfielder driving home after Rasiak's cross had been helped back by Jeff Kenna, they were second best.

Watford took a long while to graft any threat onto promising approach work but McNamee's angled shot was blocked on the line by Andrew Davies just before half-time and Michael Johnson did likewise from Ashley Young's lob just after.

Then Richard Jackson caught the clean-through James Chambers from behind 12 yards out in the 57th minute.

Although the left-back's sending-off on his 100th Derby appearance was followed by a scuffed Marlon King penalty against the post, the escape was short-lived as Matthew Spring shot high and wide of Lee Camp for the equaliser.

"When I came here, I thought Anthony was in the under-12s,'' said Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd. "He has had a couple of years in the wilderness but is a menace with his tricks and movement."

Brown said; "The officials got the major decisions wrong. I hope the referee will go home and look at the video.''

Derby County (4-5-1) Camp; Kenna, Davies, Michael Johnson, Jackson; Bisgaard, Bolder (Peschisolido, 90), Idiakez, Thirlwell, Smith (Seth Johnson, 59); Rasiak (Tudgay, 76). Substitutes not used: Grant (gk), Mills

Watford (4-5-1): Foster; Doyley, Carlisle, Mackay, Chambers (Bouazza, 65); Young, Bangura, Spring, Blizzard (Stewart, 82), McNamee; King. Substitutes not used: Chamberlain (gk), Demerit, Mariappa

Referee: C Penton (Sussex).