Halfway to Wembley

The first leg’s are over and I got things half right. Derby turned in a strong away performance to come away from St. Mary’s with a 2-1 lead. There should be no huge surprise as Derby’s away record was outstanding (12W-3D-8L). There is a highlights package on YouTube but be warned that the sound quality is not the best. Steve Howard scored both goals for Derby, including one from the penalty spot. Compounding the problems for Southampton are injuries to defender Gareth Bale (ankle) and striker Kenwyne Jones (groin), both are likely to miss Tuesday’s second leg at Pride Park. Derby are hoping to have Paul Pechisolido and Morten Bisgaard available for the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final. They had hoped to be ready for Saturday but were regain full fitness in time.

West Brom’s attack depth saw them through to a 3-2 win in the 1st leg with two goals coming from veteran Kevin Phillips. Wolves were obviously missing goalkeeper Matt Murray who faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after breaking his shoulder in training prior to the 1st leg. His replacement, 20-year old Wayne Hennessey, looked nervous after conceding and how he responds in the second leg might be a deciding factor.

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