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Saturday, August 7, 1999 Published at 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK


Determined Rams frustrate Leeds

Leeds United's David Batty pulls back Darryl Powell after a scuffle

Leeds United 0-0 Derby County

Leeds' title-tipped side drew a frustrating blank against the spirited Rams.

With England manager Kevin Keegan watching, David O'Leary's men had most of the possession and chances but lacked the killer touch in a largely scrappy game with eight bookings.

Derby's goal occassionally led a charmed life in the second half but the visitors' point was a credit to dogged defending - and an inspired display by Estonian keeper Mart Poom.

Wasteful

The Rams have now failed to beat Leeds in seven attempts since their return to the Premiership - and they rarely threatened to end that run.

But at the other end Leeds also failed to find the net. Harry Kewell wasted their best chance in the second half, foiled by Poom after a dreadful back-pass by Rory Delap put the Aussie clean through.

Leeds almost broke the deadlock on 64 minutes but Poom smothered the ball on the line after a shot from Lee Bowyer.

The home club, which unveiled a memorial statue to former captain Billy Bremner before the game, gave a debut to 5m striker Michael Bridges. He teamed up with 18-year-old Alan Smith.

But it was another debut man, defender Danny Mills, who came closest for Leeds in the first half - Poom pushing his free-kick around a post.

Another free-kick by Ian Harte after 33 minutes flashed just past Poom's left-hand post.

Delap had carved out the first chance of the game, exchanging passes with Stefano Eranio on the edge of the area but shooting straight at Nigel Martyn.

But the Rams' raids were rare and during one late foray Darryl Powell and Bowyer both were booked after grappling on the ground.

Teams:

Leeds:

Martyn, Mills, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Hopkin, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Smith, Bridges. Subs: Haaland, McPhail, Hiden, Duberry, Robinson.

Derby:

Poom, Prior, Carbonari, Laursen, Delap, Eranio, Powell, Johnson, Dorigo, Baiano, Sturridge. Subs: Schnoor, Burton, Borbokis, Beck, Hoult.

Referee: Graham Barber (Tring)



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