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On This Day: January 3rd

Today we go back just a few short years to 2015, with a trip to Derby County in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

DERBY COUNTY 1 – 0 SOUTHPORT

Stadium: iPro Stadium (Pride Park)
Competition: FA Cup / 3
Date: 03/01/2015
Attendance: 20201

Southport Line-Up: David Raya MartinLuke FosterDominic CollinsDavid FitzpatrickPaul RutherfordMitchell AustinLuke GeorgePaul SmithCharlie JoyceScott KayRichard Brodie,  
Subs: Liam Roberts (GK)Andy MitchellJohn MarsdenDanny Hattersley (Richard Brodie), Amadou Bakayoko (Mitchell Austin), 
Goals: None

BBC Sport Match Report

A Chris Martin injury-time penalty saved Derby County any embarrassment as they overcame Conference side Southport in the FA Cup third round.

Southport were close to earning a replay against Championship team Derby until Luke Foster felled Johnny Russell in the 92nd minute at the iPro Stadium.

Striker Martin converted from the spot, making up for several Derby misses.

Craig Bryson hit the post for the dominant home side, while Paul Coutts and Ryan Shotton also went close.

But Southport, in the third round for the first time since 1999, had their chances to take a shock lead, with Richard Brodie and Foster both heading wide after the break from in front of goal.

Even with nine changes to the Derby team which outclassed Leeds Unitedin the Championship, Steve McClaren’s men were overwhelmingly the dominant side in terms of possession and territory.

The visitors remained resilient until they crumbled in the closing minutes, but also enjoyed a bit of fortune as Derby wasted a number of opportunities.

Bryson’s low strike clipped the the post, Derby team-mate Leon Best – making a rare start – was wasteful with the subsequent ricochet, while Coutts’ powerful strike from distance was impressively saved by Raya Martin.

Shotton was another County player guilty of profligacy as Southport, 20th in the Conference, went into the break level against a team 89 places above them them in the league pyramid.

With his team still searching for a breakthrough, McClaren made a triple substitution mid-way through the second half, introducing star players Martin, Liverpool loanee Jordon Ibe and Russell and eventually the second-half changes worked.

Russell’s incisive run into the Southport penalty box forced Foster into a rash challenge, leaving Martin to score the winner and ensure Derby avoided any kind of FA Cup upset.

Derby boss Steve McClaren: “They came here and frustrated us, did their job, defended heroically, played when they could and their keeper was magnificent. Gary and his staff can be very proud of their performance, I thought it was excellent.

“We are just thankful we are not the headline on Sunday morning, which we were very close to being. In the end it was sheer relief that we got the result. I couldn’t see us scoring from open play and I thought it was going to take something like a penalty to win this game.

“I’m going to enjoy a nice glass of Amarone with Gary because he presented it to me before the game, trying to soften me up! From half-time on I was looking forward to that glass of wine – but Gary can be very proud of his players.”

Southport manager Gary Brabin: “I’ve told them I’m proud of them and that they’ve raised the bar and made a lot of friends. It’s a cruel way to lose the game but there was never any doubt in our minds that it was a penalty.

“I’m gutted to see the lads so down, but I genuinely didn’t think we were going to win the FA Cup. We just wanted to come here and show everyone what this team is capable of and leave with pride, which is certainly the case.

“I think they were excellent and we’ve frustrated a side who I think will be in the Premier League next season.”

Telegraph match report

Derby County 1 Southport 0, match report: Injury time penalty breaks Southport hearts
Derby County vs Southport – FA Cup third round: Chris Martin scores winner in the dying moments to deny the Conference Premier side a deserved replay

By Si Hughes, Pride Park

5:26PM GMT 03 Jan 2015

Southport were almost there. Ninety seconds of injury time remained. They had merited a replay at Haig Avenue because of a performance underpinned by extreme tactical discipline and a healthy amount of heroism delivered by an obscure on-loan teenage goalkeeper whose deal ended at midnight.

It was not to be. Derby County’s Johnny Russell drove into the box, Southport’s captain, Luke Foster, stuck out a leg and Russell tumbled. Such had been the influence of 19-year-old David Raya Martin – Barcelona-born and Blackburn Rovers owned – it would not have been a surprise if he contrived to save the Chris Martin penalty kick that followed. Yet he did not.

Steve McClaren, Derby’s manager, thrust a fist into the air. Embarrassment had been avoided. Southport’s contribution to the spectacle was marked when the majority in attendance remained to clap them off, though several visiting players remained on the pitch, sunken into the turf, swallowed by the disappointment.

While Gary Brabin, Southport’s manager, described the scene inside his dressing room as one of “devastation”, McClaren termed his own relief as “absolute.”

“There’s not a lot to say about us,” McClaren said. “There is more to say about Southport. I thought they were excellent. I’m thankful we’re not the headline on Sunday morning, which we were very close to being.”

Southport had been backed by 2,700 travelling supporters, three times their average home gate. The FA Cup has had a binding effect on a season which began under a different manager in Martin Foyle before he was sacked and replaced by Brabin in October with the team in the Conference National relegation zone.

Though results in the league have improved, the prospect of slipping into the Conference North remains. Here, however, Southport’s predicament was not imitated by display even though there were 89 places between the teams. The first half followed the expected pattern: Derby rotating possession, Southport chasing and the ball. Yet Derby, with nine changes to the side that comfortably defeated Leeds on Tuesday, lacked the necessary urgency to mark their control with penetration.

McClaren admitted that his decision had contributed towards the rustiness and at the break, it was scoreless. Southport had not been forced to defend with desperation. It seemed a matter of whether they could maintain concentration, for their bank of four and five had been narrow and efficient.

A reflection of McClaren’s dissatisfaction was revealed with more than half an hour left when he ordered a treble substitution, adding Martin, Russell and Jordon Ibe, attacking players with 29 goals between them this season. “I couldn’t see us scoring,” he admitted.

That was largely due to the reflexes of Raya Martin, whose double save from Craig Bryson and Jamie Ward moments after the second half began, fell into highest bracket of goalkeeping.

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