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FULL-TIME: Leeds United 1, Derby County 1

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

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DERBY County's final game before heading into the Championship play-offs ended in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United.

Simon Dawkins gave the Rams an early lead at Elland Road but Matt Smith equalised five minutes into the second half.

The result ended Derby's remarkable run of 10 successive wins against Leeds but saw them break the club record for the highest number of points gained in a season - 85.

Results elsewhere mean that Steve McClaren's men will face Brighton & Hove Albion in the play-off semi-final.

Derby almost opened the scoring with less than two minutes on the clock.

Craig Forsyth advanced into the box following a one-two with Conor Sammon and struck his shot well, only for Jack Butland to palm the ball around the post.

The visitors were not to be denied for long, though.

Patrick Bamford's chip into the box found Jeff Hendrick and although the midfielder missed his kick before being denied by Butland, Dawkins was on hand to bundle the ball in from close range.

Leeds responded with former Derby loanee Michael Tonge's powerful goalbound shot, which was blocked by Sammon, after Tom Lees' header had been deflected behind for a corner.

Sammon then raced clear after combining well with Bamford but fired wide of the near post from an angle.

The height of Smith was causing Derby problems and Lee Grant twice kept out headers from the big striker in quick succession.

Another Smith header was cleared off the line before Danny Pugh's follow-up stung the hands of Grant.

The Rams were still looking a threat on the break, though.

After 21 minutes, Will Hughes picked out Dawkins in the box and his cross-shot was just missed by Sammon before being pushed away by Butland.

Moments later, Jason Pearce headed back across goal from a corner and Scott Wootton's effort was cleared off the line by Hughes.

Leeds top scorer Ross McCormack latched on to a Smith flick-on but his lob cleared the bar.

Grant was called into action again to parry Michael Brown's swerving 30-yarder before dropping gratefully on the loose ball.

It was end-to-end stuff but there were no more goals before the interval.

Tonge nearly levelled within a minute of the restart but his shot from the edge of the box was inches wide.

But Leeds were back on terms five minutes into the second half.

McCormack beat Richard Keogh before sliding a pass through to Smith, who neatly lifted the ball over Grant from 10 yards.

This fired up the hosts and Tonge had a penalty shout turned down after clashing with Andre Wisdom.

Then, Pugh's mis-hit volley fell into the path of Smith, who blazed over on this occasion.

On the hour, McCormack's cross caused havoc in the Derby six-yard box but Grant grabbed the ball in the nick of time.

Hendrick's through ball released Bamford a minute later but Butland parried his shot from a tight angle.

Zak Whitebread was booked for a foul on Rodolph Austin just outside the box and McCormack's 77th-minute free kick was beaten away by Grant.

Five minutes from time, Aidan White's cross from the right reached Pugh at the far post but he could only head wide.

A couple of minutes later, Pugh crossed for McCormack, who put his header straight at Grant.

LEEDS UNITED: Butland, Wootton, Lees, Pearce, Pugh, Tonge, Brown, Austin, Murphy (White, 46), McCormack, Smith. Other subs: Cairns (gk), Poleon, Walters, Dawson, Thompson, Hunt.

DERBY COUNTY: Grant, Wisdom, Keogh, Whitbread, Forsyth, Eustace, Hughes, Hendrick (Bryson, 90), Bamford (Russell, 90), Dawkins (Bennett, 78, Sammon. Other subs: Legzdins (gk), Naylor, Buxton, Thorne.

REFEREE: J Linington (Isle of Wight).

ATTENDANCE: 29,724 (3,000 away fans).

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