Derby County were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Pride Park Stadium against Cardiff City.
The Rams’ attack was vibrant under the floodlights and it took just six minutes for Scott Malone to open the scoring.
However, the Bluebirds tightened up their defence and despite numerous chances the visitors managed to hold of Phillip Cocu’s side after levelling the score through Robert Glatzel’s penalty.
Jack Marriott struck the crossbar moments after the restart and both Tom Lawrence and Martyn Waghorn were just inches off the target, whilst Cardiff’s only real chance from open play was cleared off the line by Matt Clarke.
The Rams looked fresh and ready to go following the international break and put their stamp on the game early with the lion’s share of possession. It took just six minutes for the home side to find the lead through full-back Malone.
Duane Holmes charged into the right side of the box and cut back into the area just as he ran out of space. Marriott’s initial shot was deflected and after a scramble it was half-cleared to Tom Huddlestone at the edge of the area.
The midfielder’s low effort was palmed away by Alex Smithies but Malone was there to tuck his first goal of the season away.
Derby continued on the front foot and after 16 minutes looked to double their lead. Krystian Bielik strode down the centre of the field and played through to Waghorn in the box. The forward was clipped and brought down, however, the referee failed to give a penalty. The ball landed to Marriott who’s shot was a comfortable save for Smithies.
Despite their possession hovering around 30 percent and the Rams in control, the Bluebirds found an equaliser three minutes later. This time, the referee did blow his whistle for a spot kick when Richard Keogh was adjudged to have pulled Glatzel’s shirt in the box.
Glatzel elected to take the shot himself, which he was able to convert.
Follow the break, Derby were lively still and within two minutes had already asserted their dominance looking to regain the lead. Huddlestone lay the ball off the Marriott who struck from 20-yards out and clattered his effort against the cross-bar.
The search continued and minutes later Waghorn was through on goal, but Smithies did well to deny him and Marriott was unable to convert the rebound.
Just before the hour mark Derby were on the attack again. Lawrence controlled the ball down and found Waghorn, but his low long-range effort glanced wide.
With less than ten minutes to go, Lawrence guided a shot just over the cross bar after a brilliant ball by Bielik to Florian Jozefzoon for his first touch of the game. He fed out to Waghorn who crossed to the Welshman in the middle of the box.
Straight down the other end, Matt Clarke cleared Paterson’s header from a cross off the line to keep the score level before Jozefzoon was hauled back just outside the area for Lawrence to send the free-kick over.
The Rams were unable to find the winner and will move on to Elland Road next Saturday to face Leeds United.
Derby County: Roos; Lowe, Keogh (C), Clarke, Malone; Huddlestone, Bielik; Waghorn, Holmes (Jozefzoon, 80), Lawrence; Marriott (Martin, 86)
Unused subs: Hamer, Paterson, Dowell, Davies, Knight
Cardiff City: Smithies; Peltier, Morrison (C), Flint, Bennett; Bacuna, Ralls, Murphy (Hoilett, 60); Paterson, Whyte (Mendez-Laing, 60); Glatzel (Bogle, 89)
Unused subs: Day, Vaulks, Vassell, Nelson