OK, Blackburn fight to stay 17th, and since no-one else wants to be our Correspondent, we get to share this site with a Rams' fan. The Rams of course managed 11 points in the Premier last season, so look in awe at Blackburn's achievements: they're/we're staying up. Swans are challenging in 8th place, Rams' 4 straight wins prior to the defeat at Doncaster are back up to 16th, but in the Premier, it's 36th vs. 28th, or for those who don't look beyond the Premier Top Twenty: nowhere. OK, just ignore this section if that's your view. After all, we're staying up.
Nigel Clough is putting out an unchanged side, he saw what he wanted apart from a couple of defensive errors: Bywater, Connolly, Albrechtsen, Nyatanga, McEveley, Davies, Green, Savage, Teale, Porter, Hulse. Swans: De Vries, Rangel, Williams, Serran, Tate, Dyer, Gomez, Britton, Allen, Butler, Scotland. Subs, Rams: Carroll, Villa, Varney, Sterjovski, Todd; Swans: Pratley, Orlandi, Collins, Pintado, Bauza
Colin Boulton, just voted the greatest goalkeeper in the Rams' history - played in every game in the First Division winning teams of 71/72 and 74/75, born 12 September, 1945 - is being hailed by the crowd and the weather on the Pride Park pitch. He's surprised at so much grass instead of the Baseball Ground mud. Different weather pre-Global Warming, Colin.
First attack to Swans, first corner the Rams. First real threat is from Hulse to Davies, who curls it over the bar. Swans are playing 4:5:1 with Scotland up front, plenty of possession. Davies has another chance, doesn't shoot first time, tight angle finally saved. Davies wins a free kick now, same distance for Robby Savage? Yes, great shot, keeper can only parry, and Chris Porter's in there GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL. 13 minutes gone. Porter's first.
Gomez gets a free kick over the wall, into the side netting. The only games with a goal in the Championship so far are those with Welsh teams in - Cardiff going 1-0 up after 4 minutes. That's this week's feckin' fact. Hulse makes it 2-0 apart from the offside flag. Chris Porter's getting his head bandaged. Booking for Jay McEveley, putting out a frustrated foot with Dyer comsequences. Now Joe Allen booked, and a free kick for us. De Vries handles badly, but recovers. Hulse and Green are encouraged, but the keeper cuts them out the next time.
Hulse wins a free kick 25 yards out. Savage? Towards the corner, past the post, desperate despairing duhhhh delighted keeper. Later, a good one-fisted punch saves the day, then Porter and Hulse come close, beaten by the angles, then Nyatanga gets in close, but De Vries holds out. Bywater spills one the other end - the ball's slippery in driving rain - McEverley clears. 3 minutes' added time before a hot pie and a pint.
Within 3 minutes of the second half it's another GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL for Porter, definitely a goal-grabber, very cool as a through ball falls to him off the back head of a defender. 6 minutes later a defensive slip lets a free kick given away by McEverley, crossed by Gomez to Rangel, come right through from him without a touch for 2-1. Points suddenly under threat. Today's feckin fact continued: the only games in which any of the Championship sides have scored two are those with Welsh teams in. Dyer's cautioned after a bit of pushing and shoving with Albrechtsen, and is immediately subbed with Pintado, and Pratley comes on for Britton. Half-and-hour left. A lovely Teale run, on his own, hits it, off the post. Next time he tries a tumble in the area, having put the ball ahead. Ref not impressed. Hulse now shoots wide. He's had a few sniffs, but nothing powerful enough to billow the back of the hanky. Panky. Manky.NetYou!! Mean. We need to keep holding them off by counter-attacking dangerously. Swans make a 3rd change, Orlandi for Gomez. Chris Porter's had a wide shot, and now it's a weak shot, the hat-trick doesn't look likely. Steve Davis hits a beauty, but it's off the post. Points still in danger with 10 minutes left, as it's 2-1 when it should be 5-1. A difficult minute as Swans test the angles. Near panic stations, Scotland the brave, Nyatanga denies, McEverley careful on a yellow. Tate hits one low. Desperate Derby defending. Scotland finally makes the pass, and Pintado scores. 2-2. Great volley from Teale from 25 yards which De Vries tips over, and Teale takes the corner. 03/03/09 surprising stat: the only two games with 4 goals in them are those with Welsh teams, Cardiff 3-1 up, Rams 2-2. Saints are 3-0 up away to Ipswich. We're away at Southampton a week today, after Bristol City - hopefully a fine pair of Bristols - home again on Sat'dy. Plymouth beat Watford 2-1 to join us on 42 points, but we're still 16th. Doncaster beat Charlton away 2-1 to go 14th with 46, Crystal Palace are 15th on 44, beaten at home by Wolves, top. Swans drop to 9th. OK Blackburn, your chance tomorrow.