Report and analysis from DERBY COUNTY 0-0 SWANSEA CITY as Rams' first home game fails to ignite

Tom Lawrence runs into Connor Roberts during the first-half. Photo by Jez Tighe.
Tom Lawrence runs into Connor Roberts during the first-half. Photo by Jez Tighe.

If ever a game needed that one bit of quality to let it burst into life, it was this one, but it never arrived at Pride Park on Saturday as Derby and Swansea ultimately shared the spoils.

It was a match that kept threatening to be good but failed to fully spark into life, neither side having much in the way of attacking inspiration or quality when it mattered in the final third.

Derby missed a penalty just before half-time, which didn't help their cause, nor did losing one of their brighter attacking options Jayden Bogle early in the second-half, but those factors merely masked an otherwise poor display from Phillip Cocu's men who were well marshalled by their Welsh visitors but left their fans returning home somewhat frustrated by what they'd seen.

The lack of creativity compared to that on offer last season was evident for Derby, particularly centrally where Kieran Dowell couldn't open any doors and where their best performer was Tom Huddlestone who was on hand to mop up most up Swansea's attacking failures.

Otherwise, it was the visitors who tested the opposing goalkeeper the most but will nevertheless be delighted with the point.

The Rams were unchanged following the 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town in their opener five days earlier, although the subs bench included two signings made on transfer deadline day in goalkeeper Ben Hamer and winger Jamie Paterson.

Matt Grimes' early free-kick was too high after Richard Keogh had been booked for a foul on Borja Baston, but despite a few promising openings at each end it wasn't until Grimes drove low and wide on 15 minutes that the next serious effort came.

Mike van der Hoorn then found himself in space from a corner but could only head wide, then Martyn Waghorn, regularly finding pockets of space in front of the Swans' defence, nipped in to turn Bogle's cross just wide on 33 minutes.

Tom Lawrence, drifting in and out of the game as he felt like it, blazed a volley too high after good work from Waghorn, who would then have a golden chance to give the Rams the lead on 42 minutes.

Bogle provided a bit of what had been badly needed out wide, running at the Swans defence and breaking into the penalty area before being sliced down by Jake Bidwell and Australian ref Jarrd Gillet pointed to the spot.

But from Waghorn's kick, goalkeeper Freddie Woodman guessed well to dive low to his left and push the penalty away to safety.

Swansea responded with Baston forcing Roos to beat his low effort away as the game entered first-half stoppage time, and the break arrived with parity still in place.

Jamie Paterson replaced George Evans at the break for Derby, giving a more attacking option to the Rams with Kieran Dowell dropping into the deeper midfield role.

Connor Roberts forced Roos into a save low down early on for the visitors, before the Rams lost Bogle to an injury soon afterwards, Max Lowe replacing him.

Florian Jozefzoon then did well to work space for himself before seeing his shot parried away by Woodman who also got in the way of Scott Malone's follow up.

Bogle's departure left the Rams a little unbalanced and didn't help their struggles going forward, Waghorn struggling throughout although lacking quality support.

Swansea again showed the odd moment of promise, sub Sam Surridge firing wide on the turn on 74 minutes, but chances continued to be at a premium.

Waghorn flicked Dowell's cross just wide with three minutes to go following a short corner - the Rams' delivery from set pieces having been poor all afternoon up to that point.

Seven minutes were on the fourth official's board as the game ticked past 90 minutes, but they merely extended the frustration and the game petered out.

Derby:

21 Kelle Roos

6 Richard Keogh

8 Kieran Dowell

9 Martyn Waghorn

10 Tom Lawrence

11 Florian Jozefzoon (Jack Marriott 80)

16 Matt Clarke

17 George Evans (Jamie Paterson 46)

37 Jayden Bogle (Max Lowe 53)

44 Tom Huddlestone

46 Scott Malone

Subs not used:

Ben Hamer, Graeme Shinnie, Mason Bennett, Curtis Davies

Swansea:

27 Freddie Woodman

4 Joe Rodon

5 Mike van der Hoorn

6 Jay Fulton

8 Matt Grimes

9 Borja Baston (Sam Surridge 68)

10 Bersant Celina

12 Nathan Dyer (Kristoffer Petersen 62)

18 Aido Kalulu (Yan Dhanda 68)

23 Connor Roberts

24 Jake Bidwell

Subs not used:

Kristoffer Nordfelt, Ben Wilmot, Kyle Naughton, George Byers

Ref: Jarred Gillett

Att: 27,337

Star Ram: Tom Huddlestone