Report - Derby County 2 Swansea City 2
3rd March 2009
Gorka Pintado marked his return from injury by coming off the bench to salvage a point for Swansea at Pride Park.
Rangel - Serran - Williams - Tate
Dyer - Britton - Allen - Gomez - Butler
Derby led 2-0 after a brace from Chris Porter, but Angel Rangel gave the Swans a lifeline before Pintado struck three minutes from time.
It was harsh on Derby who had the better of the chances, striking the woodwork twice and seeing Dorus de Vries make a fingertip save in the closing minutes to deny them victory.
The Swans started sluggishly, clearly feeling the effects from their recent tough run of games.
After 10 minutes de Vries was called into action, saving well to deny Steve Davies from a narrow angle.
But it was only delaying the inevitable, as Robbie Savage's free kick spat up off the surface, and de Vries could only parry it to Porter who tapped in from close range.
The returning Joe Allen was the only bright spark in the Swans rather poor early showing, and his twisting and turning run was finished with a ball flashed across the box but Stephen Bywater nipped in ahead of Nathan Dyer to snuff out the chance.
Jordi Gomez worried Bywater with a free-kick before Derby were denied a second by an offside after a sweeping counter attacking move.
There was little of note after that in the first half, but the second period sprang into life instantly. Albert Serran got wrong side of his man and Porter took full advantage by finishing well and seemingly ending the visitors hopes of taking anything from the game.
But the goal brought a rather sombre Jack Army to life, and their singing brought about an extra energy in the men in grey on the pitch.
Rangel stabbed in a Gomez free-kick to give the Swans hope and start the nerves going in the healthy home crowd.
Jason Scotland forced a couple of decent saves from Bywater in the aftermath of the goal, before Roberto Martinez made a double change.
The ineffective Nathan Dyer was replaced by Pintado whilst Darren Pratley came on for the quiet Leon Britton.
But it was the hosts who were looking the more dangerous with Davies and Hulse both striking the woodwork as the Swans rode their luck.
On top of that, Alan Tate got away with a clumsy looking challenge in the penalty box which probably should have been a penalty.
But the visitors made the most of their luck, and when Andrea Orlandi replaced Gomez with just over ten minutes remaining, the Swans fans and players found the energy for that final push.
Scotland, Ashley Williams and Tate all had half chances to claim the equaliser, before the Trinidad & Tobago international was found in space in the inside left channel, and his cut back was fired in off the underside of the bar by Pintado from 12 yards.
Paul Green then forced de Vries into a fine late save with a dipping shot, but the Swans had done enough to take a point back to South Wales and keep their play-off aspirations very much alive.
Dorus de Vries-6
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