Derby County fought back to knock out Hartle­pool United

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Thomas Han­nah

JUST as it looked like Derby were go­ing to need a se­cond chance at get­ting past Hartle­pool, Dar­ren Bent showed his value.

The striker net­ted his 200th club ca­reer goal with only three min­utes re­main­ing to leave Pools be­moan­ing a harsh de­feat.

Bent, in truth, did lit­tle in the game. He was well shack­led by cen­tre-half Adam Jack­son, on loan at Pools from Mid­dles­brough, but you can’t keep a good man down and he earned the Rams a spot in round four.

Boss Paul Cle­ment purred: “Dar­ren’s goal was his 200th at se­nior level, and it was a good one for him.When he plays he’s been hit­ting the wood­work, then he goes close with a div­ing header, and that goal will give him a boost. He looked dan­ger­ous.’’

Derby, se­cond in the Cham­pi­onship, were given a tough task by Pools, who are floun­der­ing fourth bot­tom in League Two.

This had the feel of a proper FA Cup tie from the mo­ment Michael Woods fizzed a se­cond-minute shot over the bar. The se­cond half was par­tic­u­larly open, with both sides go­ing for it.

Bent was de­nied by Pools keeper Trevor Car­son on 19 min­utes, the first time the vis­i­tors threat­ened. Goal­keeper Jonathan Mitchell, a Hartle­pool teenager mak­ing his Rams bow, was happy to see a foul awarded af­ter he spilled a cross un­der pres­sure from Scott Fen­wick.

But as half-time ap­proached, Cle­ment’s side turned up the pres­sure. Nick Black­man, signed last week for £2.5m from Read­ing, was de­nied by Car­son, who some­how kept the ball out de­spite div­ing away from it.

Then the striker, with 13 goals for Read­ing this sea­son, had a shot di­verted over. He then weakly went down claim­ing a penalty un­der a dou­ble chal­lenge.

Pools should have tested Mitchell on 48 min­utes. They moved the ball around the area well, but Jake Gray kicked thin air when pre­sented with a chance.

Ab­doul Ca­mara, a £1.25m French re­cuit last week, thun­dered the cross­bar.

Pools took the lead when Michael Woods charged for­ward on the left side with power and lifted the invit­ing cross to the penalty area for Gray to smash in from eight yards.

Vic­to­ria Park erupted and Pools were good value for their ad­van­tage.

How­ever, it only lasted six min­utes. Pools failed to deal with a ball on the edge of their penalty area and Ja­cob But­ter­field, who had only been on the pitch for a mat­ter of sec­onds, ar­rowed a crisp fin­ish into the cor­ner.

Pools pressed and al­most re­gained the lead, Lewis Hawkins pok­ing a shot over from 20 yards. Bent then went close with a thump­ing close-range header firmly kept out by Car­son.

Scott Fen­wick al­most got on the end of a loop­ing Brad Walker cross, but the Rams sur­vived and broke away, Ca­mara crossed, the ball de­flected into Bent’s path and he made no mis­take.

Cle­ment said:“It’s good to be part of a game like that. A lower league team were re­ally up for it and I’m glad the game went ahead.”

Pools boss Ron­nie Moore ad­mit­ted: “We didn’t re­ally want a re­play, but we de­served an­other crack at them.We have to take that per­for­mance and look at it – first-class.

“We’ve not played for three weeks and we worked on how they play and it’s good when it comes off for you. I can’t fault any­one, they all gave ev­ery­thing we asked.

“The sick­ener is they didn’t have to work hard for their goals.

“A good cup tie, and it was a wide-open se­cond-half game.

“If we take that per­for­mance and qual­ity into the League in the next few weeks we have no wor­ries.’’

GRAY’S ANATOMY: Jake Gray twists his body to lash in Hartle­pool’s open­ing goal

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