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Pearson Scores The Only Goal As Derby Defeat West Bromwich Albion In The Play-Off Final
Pictured here is Stephen Pearson celebrating scoring the only goal of the game, alongside his team-mates, as Derby County defeated West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in the 2006/07 Championship Play-Off Final, 13 years ago today.
The Scottish midfielder found the net from close range, converting Giles Barnes’ low cross, to fire Billy Davies’ side to victory and secure the Rams’ dramatic return to the top-flight.
Derby had finished the regular season, Davies’ first in charge following his appointment in the summer of 2006, in third place in the table after being embroiled in the promotion race for much of the campaign.
After overcoming Southampton in the Play-Off Semi-Finals on penalties, following a 4-4 draw on aggregate, Derby had the chance to seal promotion and claim their first-ever Play-Off Final victory against the Baggies.
West Brom dominated for large periods of the Final, with goalkeeper Stephen Bywater denying Diomansy Kamara, Jason Koumas and Paul Robinson, while Kevin Phillips also hit the crossbar.
At the other end, Dean Kiely saved a Paul Peschisolido strike early on and also a shot from Matt Oakley before Pearson struck the decisive goal on 61 minutes.
Despite late pressure, Derby held on to gain promotion and Pearson’s first goal for the club, after arriving from Celtic in January 2007, was perfectly timed.
Pearson went on to make 127 appearances for the Rams in total, scoring five times, before leaving to join Bristol City on a permanent basis in the summer of 2012 after a loan spell at Ashton Gate.
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