Match: Aston Villa v Derby County
Date: 28th April, 2018
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 8c, cloudy
Lewis Grabban’s late equaliser earned Villa a point after a pulsating second half in which the bombarded Championship play-off contenders Derby County.
Grabban’s goal was a just reward for a perpetual motion performance which earned a standing ovation from a near-capacity crowd.
Cameron Jerome’s right-foot drive into the bottom corner had given the Rams an early lead, although Villa created some decent chances in the opening period, none better than when Jack Grealish burst through and looked a certain scorer until Scott Carson managed to push away the midfielder’s low shot for a corner.
Carson also saved well from a Conor Hourihane drive, although he was relieved when Grabban headed over from Albert Adomah’s inviting cross and when Ahmed Elmohamady’s shot deflected on to the top of the bar.
But that was nothing compared with Villa’s second-half onslaught.
Grealish was close a couple of times, while Hourihane somehow drilled his shot into the ground and over from right in front of goal.
As the pressure mounted sub Jonathan Kodjia headed against the post, Robert Snodgrass sent a swerving shot just over and Grabban’s close-range header was held by Carson.
But just when the home side seemed destined to remain frustrated, Grabban drove home from six yards after Carson had pushed out Hourihane’s blistering low drive.
VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor (Hutton 23); Hourihane, Whelan (Onomah 81), Grealish; Snodgrass, Grabban, Adomah (Kodjia 59).Unused subs: Bunn, Lansbury, Hogan, Jedinak.
DERBY: Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Pearce (Hanson 73); Weimann (Palmer, 80), Huddlestone, Johnson, Lawrence (Vydra 68), Forsyth; Jerome. Unused subs: Roos, Nugent, Olsson, Ledley
Referee: Scott Duncan
Assistant Referee 1: Robert Hyde
Assistant Referee 2: Philip Dermott
Fourth Official: Mark Heywood