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The BBC's Simon Brotherton
"Two first half goals virtually secured Derby's future"
 real 28k

Monday, 24 April, 2000, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Derby move closer to safety
Malcolm Christie
Christie: The Rams' attacking dynamo scored the second
Derby 2-0 Southampton

Derby County took a step further away from the relegation zone with a comfortable win over Southampton at Pride Park.

Two first-half goals by Darryl Powell and Malcolm Christie were enough to consign Saints to their second defeat of the extended Easter weekend.

With Southampton already safe from the drop, Derby were the team with it all to play for and they set out their stall from the opening minute, raiding deep into the opposition half.
Darryl Powell
Powell scored Derby's first

Their adventure paid off immediately as Craig Burley's feint beat two defenders and his cross found Powell, who side-footed the ball home to give the Rams a 1-0 advantage after just five minutes.

The fireworks of the opening spell failed to translate into a riveting first half as Saints slowly worked their way into an open, if unstructured match with precious few shots to trouble either keeper.

In fact, as the game wore on Southampton began to look the more promising outfit, despite the paucity of meaningful assaults on goal.
Key moments
12 secs: Christie almost scores
5 mins: Powell does
42: Christie finds the net
60: Beattie misses for Saints

But it was Derby who improved on their early goal against the run of play.

Three minutes before the interval, Christie showed great vision to find Giorgi Kinkladze in space with a high, looping pass.

Burley created uncertainty with a run down the left flank, which gave Christie enough time to outstrip the Saints' central defence and latch onto the Georgian's through ball with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Southampton's Neil Moss will probably want to forget the finish as Christie cheekily poked the ball through the keeper's flailing legs.

Derby again started the brighter after the interval, with Burley's volley catching Moss off his line, but going narrowly wide of the left upright and Paul Boertien's cross nearly setting Powell up for his second.
Hassan Kachloul
Kachloul: Bad-tempered performance

James Beattie went closest in reply for Southampton with a storming break that won the applause of his team-mates, even if the shot when it came did little to trouble Mart Poom.

Hassan Kachloul, who had a fiery match, was eventually booked for a head-to-head row with Burley, following a similarly bad-tempered encounter with Rory Delap in the first half.

His turn and volley moments later slammed into the boards to right of the Derby goal.

The second half ran out without much incident, even given a nervy closing five minutes by the Rams who once again produced a strong scoring chance against the run of play when Seth Johnson's shot rattled the crossbar.

Teams

Derby: Poom, Delap, Laursen, Schnoor, Dorigo, Burley, Johnson, Powell, Kinkladze, Strupar, Christie.
Subs: Oakes, Jackson, Elliott, Murray, Boertien.

Southampton: Moss, Dodd, Richards, Tahar, Ripley, Marsden, Oakley, Soltvedt, Kachloul, Beattie, Bridge.
Subs: Bevan, Le Tissier, Lundekvam, Davies, Tessem.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

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