Derby stands firm to snatch West Brom draw
Derby sort of emerged with a point after denying West Brom’s dominance in a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns.
Sky Bet championship leaders West Brom dominated the proceedings and really should have buried Wayne Rooney’s side after missing plenty of chances and forcing several saves from goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
It was Roos who saved Derby’s white sheet to death when he blocked Darnell Furlong’s diving header.
Albion initially came desperately close to taking a ninth-minute lead in a short, smooth turn routine.
Seyi Ajayi’s shot was deflected from the line by former Albion center-back Curtis Davies after Alex Mowatt found Grady Diangana, secured the return and crossed for Karlan Grant to slice his shot at Ajayi.
Diangana’s volley was deflected widely after Furlong pushed Mowatt’s deep cross back before Mowatt’s corner was knocked back by goalkeeper Roos, who appeared to be targeted by the home side from his corners.
Furlong was in the thick of it and his header was deflected over Callum Robinson’s cross bar before his curling free kick was knocked back by Roos diving to his left.
Robinson asked Roos to stretch to hold back a hooked shot from Adam Reach’s cross as Albion continued to push for the opening goal.
In an effort to break the deadlock, Albion head coach Valérien Ismael made a double halftime substitution, bringing in Jordan Hugill and Matt Phillips for Grant and Robinson.
Hugill had the first opening after the restart when his up and down drive sailed high and wide.
Reach then created half a header for Ajayi and Furlong, but both efforts fell off target.
Albion missed two great chances in the 58th minute. Diangana shot too close to Roos one-on-one, then Furlong escaped the rebound.
The pressure from the home side was relentless and Phillips, slipping in, failed to turn Diangana’s cross at the far post before Roos reached out his right leg to block the effort from Phillips’ side foot just to inside the surface.
Roos denied West Brom what appeared to be a certain goal in the second minute of extra time when he blocked Furlong’s diving header on Phillips’ cross.