Rams' survival bid goes to the wire after defeat at Swansea
SWANSEA CITY 2-1 DERBY COUNTY
Derby County again blew a crucial lead to eventually be beaten and see their chances of staying in the SkyBet Championship take another huge hit.
Two goals in three minutes turned this one around after Tom Lawrence had put the Rams ahead, the third time in recent weeks Wayne Rooney's side have seen a winning position turned into a defeat.
There were positive signs in this display but their lack of quality in the final third was again a key issue, likewise the concession of poor goals that have plagued their campaign.
It now means a close eye will be cast on Rotherham's game in hand against Luton on Tuesday before a potential 'winner takes all' game at home to Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday, with two of the three sides set to drop to League One.
Derby nearly gifted the hosts the lead in the opening three minutes when Nathan Byrne's mistake allowed Jamal Lowe to burst through with Morgan Whittaker in support, but when the ball was squared to the former Derby man his control let him down and Kamil Jozwiak cleared for a corner.
Chances were then few and far between before the Rams had a good opening on 21 minutes, Colin Kazim-Richards bursting into the penalty area but his shot being partially blocked by Swans defender Ben Cabango and it eased through to keeper Freddie Woodman.
It took until two minutes into the second-half for the opening goal to come and it was the Rams who scored it. The ball found its way to Byrne out on the right who floated a cross to the edge of the six-yard box where Tom Lawrence stooped to head the ball home.
Matt Clarke's flick header was gathered by Woodman just after the hour as the Rams looked for a second, but the hosts would soon equalise and it was the familiar face who did the damage.
A short corner resulted in a ball to the back post finding Cabango and his header back across goal found Whittaker who nodded the ball just over the line despite Kelle Roos's efforts to keep it out.
Moments later the hosts led. Matt Grimes' floated a crossfield ball over the defence to where Connor Roberts was coming in unmonitored at the back post and his sweet volley beat Roos and found the net, Lawrence having been too slow to track his run.
The Rams had work to do again, Byrne's cross finding Kazim-Richards a few yards out with ten to go but his firm header pushed away by Woodman.
But once again they wouldn't have enough and their survival in the Championship hangs by a thread.
Swansea: Woodman, Bennett, Smith, Grimes, Lowe (Cooper 90+2), Whittaker (O Cooper 65), Cullen, Dhanda (Fulton 86), Roberts, Bidwell (Manning 65), Cabango.
Subs not used: Hamer, Hourihane, Routledge, Latibeaudiere, Naughton, B Cooper
Derby: Roos, Forsyth, Shinnie, Edmundson, Jozwiak (Roberts 69), Waghorn (Sibley 80), Lawrence, Byrne, Kazim-Richards, Clarke, Knight.
Subs not used: Marshall, Bird, Cashin, Buchanan, Ebosele, McDonald, Watson.