Martyn Waghorn said Derby County gave Birmingham City a good fight in their 2-2 draw on Good Friday - which he believed the Rams could have gone on to win.
The home side went ahead twice on a hot afternoon at St. Andrew’s through Lukas Jutkiewicz and Michael Morrison, but both times Derby fought back with Waghorn netting the first and Richard Keogh the second.
All four goals came within the opening 30 minutes in what the Rams’ No. 9 felt the contest was a great battle.
“The game was intense, it was end-to-end,” Waghorn told RamsTV following the game. “It was a good old-fashioned Easter Weekend game and was nice to be a part of.
“It was a right old battle. Everyone knows how Birmingham are set up to play, they have two boys up front who are game as they come.
“They work ever so well together, and let’s not beat around the bush, the big lad, Jutkiewicz is a right handful and Che Adams runs off him. That’s why they have been a problem all season.
“I thought that apart from the two set plays we dealt with them really well, competed really well and gave them a good fight. On a different day, if we don’t concede from those set plays we go on and win the game quite comfortably, but that’s the Championship, it’s tough.”
It was a beautiful lob to beat Lee Camp by the forward to cancel out a goal in the second minute by Jutkiewicz after a long punt by Jayden Bogle up the pitch.
It was Waghorn’s 12th goal of the season to put him another strike closer to the club’s leading goal scorer, Harry Wilson, who has 14 in all competitions.
“The way they were putting it on where they were getting balls in the box, we said the pitch will hold up, they have left it long and dry and then when we get in behind, it will stick,” he explained.
“For the likes of me, Jack [Marriott] and David Nugent, the types of players we are, we gamble on stuff like that and I just saw Camp off his line and thought I will have a go and sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t, but thankfully today it did and it got us back in the game.
“I caught it well. Sometimes you half hit it or get a bit too much on it, but I knew if I get a good bit of purchase on it, it will go in.”
The forward was disappointed that the Rams conceded twice through set pieces, especially as they knew that was a strong point of the Blues’ game and had prepared for it.
But he was delighted that Keogh could get back in level terms again through a set piece of their own.
He said: “It was disappointing to go back behind through another set play. We said before the game and the build-up all week that they are going to be a threat from there, they base their game on that, they get balls in the box and to concede again was disappointing.
“We scored from one this time and towards the end of the game I thought we caused problems from them as well. It was nice for big Rich to contribute.”