FLEETING WARD SHOWS WORTH
CHARLTON ......1 DERBY ............1
DERBY manager Nigel Clough was hoping Jamie Ward’s latest injury setback wasn’t serious after his penalty on his comeback earned a point against Charlton.
Ward netted from the spot with his first touch since returning from a three-month lay-off thanks to a torn hamstring, but his day turned sour when another strain forced him off 11 minutes after he came on.
The draw was undoubtedly a fair result with two evenlymatched sides producing a good contest on a sodden Valley pitch to end respective losing streaks.
Clough said:“Jamie just felt his hamstring a little bit and we hope that bringing him off was very much precautionary and we’ll give it a little but to let it settle down again.
“We were confident that he could do 20 minutes for us, but hopefully him going off was just a precaution.
“We’ve missed him for three months because he’s got that ability to create something out of nothing, so he’s one of our main players.
“We’re a little bit disappointed that it was only a point, although there were 1015 minutes where we got away with it at the start of the second half.
“Then they hit the bar and it would have been difficult at 2-0 – having said that we should have had three in the first 20 minutes.”
Against the run of play, Charlton took the lead on 20 minutes when Danny Haynes cut inside from the left before bending a brilliant shot into the top corner.
But the Rams almost pulled level three minutes later when Paul Coutts robbed Cedric Evina of the ball and crossed for Theo Robinson, who could only stab his effort at Ben Hamer.
Hamer was far more stretched though when he spread himself to deny Tyson again after he had been put through by Robinson.
Charlton then lost Haynes to injury but his replacement Bradley Wright-Phillips almost doubled his side’s lead when Adam Legzdins blocked his route when he was one-on-one.
Ledgzdins kept his team in the game again early in the second half when he pushed away Johnnie Jackson’s shot from Dale Stephens’ low freekick.
Bradley Pritchard should have made things more comfortable for the hosts when Yann Kermorgant rolled the ball back for him only for him to chip onto the bar from ten yards out.
And he was made to regret that miss three minutes later when Michael Morrison chopped down John Brayford, leading to a penalty and a second yellow card for the Charlton centre-back.
Up stepped Ward to calmly roll the ball into the bottom corner with Hamer diving the other way before Brayford’s late header came back off the post.
Charlton boss Chris Powell felt the breaks didn’t go his side’s way, saying: “There were a couple of turning points against us.
“First we had Bradley Pritchard hitting the bar, which would have made it more comfortable for us and then a controversial penalty – sometimes they go for you and sometimes they don’t.
“But when Michael Morrison was sent off, the remaining ten players showed a lot of resilience – they had to – and we’ve come away with a point, which arrested three straight defeats.
“The penalty was a close call and there was a handball before then that wasn’t given but sadly quite a few things are going against us at the moment and we’ve got to work hard to turn that around.”
SPOT ON: Jamie Ward scores for Derby from the penalty spot
GLOVELY: Danny Haynes celebrates with Cedric Evina, right, after scoring the first goal