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Mixed emotions for managers

19 September 2012

Derby manager Nigel Clough and Charlton counterpart Chris Powell admitted to being left with a sweet and sour taste after a topsy-turvy game in which Derby should have had three points under lock and key by the middle of the second half.

Clough, in particular, must have had an uncomfortable sense of d?j? vu as Charlton fought back from three goals down to lose 3-2.

He admitted: "Of course it is bit hard on the nerves when a side comes back at you like that. But I was more pleased with the sort of football we played to go three up than I was upset about the two goals Charlton scored.

"Their first goal was an absolute screamer, totally unstoppable and out of the blue, and that gave Charlton a huge lift. Until then we had been totally dominant and played some excellent football - but a goal like that gives a side a huge boost.

"What matters most is that we got the result we deserved and that we showed again that this side is capable of playing some really excellent football."

Jamie Ward's 22-yard volley punished slack defending to give Derby the lead after minutes, Craig Bryson then slid in to force a cross from Will Hughes into the net for Derby's second in the 53rd minute and Charlton seemed to be out for the count when Ward picked himself up from a foul challenge by Danny Green to score the third goal from the spot 10 minutes later.

Green made amends for that moment of clumsiness by rifling in a screamer of a shot in the 69th minute, beating goalkeeper Frank Fielding from fully 35 yards. Derby were on the wobble again when the midfielder provided the cross for Jann Kermorgant to hook in Charlton's second goal at the near post in the 73rd minute.

The visitors maintained the pressure until deep into injury-time but their final chance of a point went unrewarded with seconds to go when a header from Johnnie Jackson was hooked off the line by Ward.

Powell, a former Rams favourite, said: "The football we played in the first hour, and especially the first half, was not worthy of this club. We gave Derby the freedom to do absolutely what they pleased and only when it looked like a lost cause did we decide that we had nothing to lose by having a go at them.

"In the end we were very unlucky not to take a point because we had three goalbound efforts cleared off the line and were right on top for the last half hour. In future we need to create that level of intensity for the full 90 minutes because you cannot get away with anything less at this level."

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