Welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the first leg of the Championship playoff semi-final between Derby County
and Leeds United
from Pride Park. Derby ended the regular season in sixth, while Leeds were unable to secure an automatic spot despite occupying a top-two position for long spells, ultimately ending the campaign third behind Norwich City and Sheffield United. Stay tuned!
DERBY: Roos; Malone, Keogh, Tomori, Bogle; Johnson, Mount; Lawrence, Holmes, Wilson; Nugent
LEEDS: Casilla; Ayling, Berardi, Cooper, Dallas; Hernandez, Forshaw, Phillips, Klich, Harrison; Roofe
David Nugent returns to the XI to lead the Derby line tonight, with the experienced forward coming in for Martyn Waghorn, who was on the scoresheet against West Bromwich Albion last time out. Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson both keep their spots in the forward positions, though.
As for Leeds, head coach Marcelo Bielsa has made one change to the team that started the defeat at Ipswich Town last time out, with Gaetano Berardi coming in for the injured Pontus Jansson. Kemar Roofe will again lead the line for the Whites, with Patrick Bamford suspended.
KICKOFF: Leeds kick things off at Pride Park...
... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium, and why not? Leeds have had the early possession as they pass around the back through Berardi and Cooper.
Holmes has the chance to burst forward from midfield, but he is stopped by Forshaw, which is not a surprise. No early chances to report, but there is an open feel to the match with Lawrence having a dangerous cross headed clear by Philipps. Good tempo early on.
The match is yet to really settle as both teams continue to enjoy spells with the ball. None of the flair players have been allowed to settle early on, which is not much of a surprise.
Just a reminder that Aston Villa recorded a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in the other Championship playoff semi-final earlier this afternoon. Those two teams will meet again at the Hawthorns next week. It really is shaping up to be a brilliant playoff campaign in the second tier.
CHANCE! Big chance for Derby as Wilson slides a super pass into Nugent, but Berardi is across to block the striker's effort over the crossbar. Excellent defending from the number 28.
Lampard looks fairly relaxed on the touchline; his team have started well here.
SHOT! Klich sees a strike from distance miss the Derby post.
SHOT! Dallas bends one just over the Derby crossbar from outside the box.
Fifteen minutes on the clock and it is a very even game of football. Derby started the better, but Leeds have started to come back into it. This two-legged affair is going to be close.
Danger for Derby as a corner comes into the home side's box, but Holmes manages to make contact ahead of Roofe. The pressure stays on, though, as Leeds continue to enjoy the ball.
Roofe tries an ambitious over-head kick from inside the Derby box, but the ball goes harmlessly wide of the post. It is a good spell for Leeds with the home side having to defend.
You do get the feeling that Derby need to win tonight if they are to stand a chance of advancing to the final, where either Villa or West Brom will be waiting. Not too much to report in the last couple of minutes, but the home side currently have the ball in Leeds's half here.
Dallas is encouraged forward down the left as Leeds break once again, but the number 15's cross is blocked behind for a corner. There seems to be a lot of space on that side of the field.
Potential blow for Leeds here as Forshaw appears to have picked up an injury.
LEEDS SUB! Leeds are indeed forced into a change as Forshaw limps off the field. Jamie Shackleton is his replacement. Big moment for the 19-year-old here.
Leeds are really in control of this game at the moment as Derby continue to struggle for possession. That said, Holmes looks very, very dangerous for the Rams at the moment.
SHOT! Phillips has a shot from outside the Derby box, but he slices it!
Shackleton races into the Derby box and looks to find Roofe, but the teenager slipped at the vital moment and Derby can clear their lines. The threat is coming from the visitors here.
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and while we have not had any outstanding chances, there have been a lot of good moments. If it were a boxing match then Leeds would be ahead, with Derby being forced to play on the counter-attack at the moment.
Shackleton cannot quite bring the ball under his spell inside the Derby box, but the pressure continues from Leeds, who are utterly dominant as we approach the end of the first period.
Still goalless with little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining here.
Klich has been really good for Leeds in this first half, but Derby have defended well, particularly in the area just outside their own box. All square at Pride Park.
Roofe's movement has been terrific and the attacker breaks free once again before crossing into the Derby box, but the danger is cleared once again. The home side break down the other end with Lawrence, but Leeds have players back and manage to clear their lines.
Leeds continue to look the more likely to make the breakthrough as Ayling delivers a dangerous cross into the home side's box, but Johnson makes the clearance.
Mount can carry the ball clear for Derby as the home side look to break again, but Leeds have a lot of players back to make the clearance. Still goalless with 42 minutes on the clock.
Derby have the chance to deliver a dangerous free kick into the Leeds box through Johnson, but it goes over everyone and the away side can resume play through Kiko Casilla.
Leeds continue to force the issue and a dangerous cross from Dallas is headed behind by Lawrence at the far post to bring up yet another corner in the latter stages of the first period.
SHOT! Dallas just misses the Derby goal with a strike after Ayling had kept the ball in play following a swipe from Roofe. The Rams will be pleased to see the half-time whistle here.
HALF TIME: LEEDS 0-0 DERBY
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Derby have had their moments in the final third, but there is no question that Leeds have been the better of the two teams. All to play for ahead of the second 45 minutes of action.
STATISTICS! Leeds had 67% of the possession in the first half, managing five attempts, but all were off target. Derby also had five first-half attempts, and each of those were off target too. No yellow cards to report, but Forshaw was forced off injured in the 24th minute for Leeds.
BENCH WATCH! Shackleton for Forshaw was the Leeds change in the 24th minute, but Bielsa still has the likes of Brown, Clarke and Gotts in reserve tonight. As for Derby, head coach Frank Lampard has options in the shape of Bennett, Evans, Huddlestone and Jozefzoon.
KICKOFF: Derby resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, you suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.
CLOSE! Harrison has a shot blocked behind for a Leeds corner as the visitors threaten again.
Roofe again looks to break behind Keogh, but the pass has too much pace on this occasion and the home side resume through Roos. This game is bubbling along nicely here.
Roofe and Keogh again go head-to-head in a dangerous position from Derby's point of view, but the offside flag comes to the home side's rescue. Still goalless at Pride Park.
Free kick Derby in a wide area as Ayling brings Lawrence to the deck...
... Roofe heads clear the delivery from Wilson.
GOAL! DERBY 0-1 LEEDS (ROOFE)
Breakthrough! Leeds take the lead in the 55th minute as Harrison's wonderful cross is converted into the bottom corner by Roofe. The finish from Roofe was excellent, but the goal is all about Harrison's delivery from the left. Big moment in this tie!
SAVE! Roos has to save from Roofe as the away side threaten a second!
Derby have to come up with something here, but Leeds remain on the front foot as the Whites look for a second, which would give them a huge advantage at this stage of the tie.
Derby are preparing to make their first change of the match, which is not a surprise.
Casilla has not had too much to do for the visitors tonight, but the former Real Madrid goalkeeper comes through a host of players to claim a deep ball as Derby waste another free kick.
CHANCE! Big chance for Leeds as Shackleton finds Hernandez inside the Derby box, but the attacker misses the ball! Huge opportunity for the visitors to double their advantage.
DERBY SUB! Marriott replaces Nugent for the home side.
YELLOW CARD! Cooper (Leeds) is booked for a foul on Wilson.
Wilson stands over a free kick outside the Leeds box...
... Wilson's effort hits the wall.
YELLOW CARD! Keogh (Derby) is booked for a foul on Roofe.
YELLOW CARD! Holmes (Derby) is now booked for a foul on Roofe.
Cooper throws himself to the ground inside the Derby box, and the home side's players are not very happy at all. It was really poor from the big centre-back there.
DERBY SUB! Holmes is replaced by Bennett for the home side.
Lots and lots of free kicks at the moment as both teams continue to commit fouls. Derby have another set piece in a decent area, which Wilson will look to take advantage of...
... Mount delivers into the Leeds box, but Philipps makes the clearance.
CHANCE! Malone flashes a low cross towards the middle of the Leeds box, but there are no takers. Big moment for Derby, who are playing much better at the moment here.
Little over 15 minutes of the second period remaining here, and Roofe's goal is still the difference. Can Derby take something into the second leg next week? Stay tuned!
The Derby fans are not too happy with Casilla, who takes an age with a free kick, but the referee decides not to issue a yellow card. Derby continue to press forward here.
PENALTY! Derby have a penalty as Harrison brings Bogle to the deck!
Oh my goodness me! No penalty! After consulting his linesman, the referee has actually pointed for a free kick to Leeds. Did Bogle foul Harrison first?
It is a very, very tight call. Not too much in it for me!
Having had another look, I'm still struggling to see the foul on Harrison first. Leeds have got away with one there, and that will be a big talking point at the end of the match.
LEEDS SUB! Clarke replaces Roofe for the away side.
SHOT! Shackleton sees his long-range effort saved by the Derby goalkeeper.
Derby are very much on the front foot here as Leeds continue to come under pressure, but the Whites have the advantage heading into the final five minutes of this first leg.
You do get the feeling that something is going to happen late on. A second for Leeds would be absolutely huge, but Derby are very much the team on the front foot here.
DERBY SUB! Huddlestone replaces Lawrence for the home side.
YELLOW CARD! Klich (Leeds) is booked following a clash with Tomori.
YELLOW CARD! Huddlestone (Derby) is booked for a foul on Dallas.
We are into the first of first of five added minutes at Pride Park.
Leeds continue to come under pressure here, but Cooper and Berardi have been excellent in central defence. It does appear that the Whites will be claiming an advantage here.
Time is running out for Derby to find a leveller here. Leeds are close to having their one-goal advantage confirmed. The return clash will take place at Elland Road on Wednesday night.
FULL TIME: DERBY 0-1 LEEDS
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Leeds running out 1-0 winners over Derby in the first leg of their Championship playoff semi-final. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live text coverage once again. Until next time!