Derby's Steven Davies heads home to punish sliding Swansea

The Championship's second automatic promotion berth is still the prize no club can claim.

Derby's Steven Davies heads home to punish sliding Swansea While Queens Park Rangers extended their lead at the top to 10 points, Swansea added to a dire sequence of results that now reads lost, drawn and lost. They are still second, yet if Cardiff and Norwich record wins over the next two days then Brendan Rodgers's side slide from second to fourth.

Following a close contest, the manager was asked if he was still confident of finishing second. "There are still nine games to go, let's wait and see what happens," he said.

Rodgers speaks often of José Mourinho's defining influence on his career, having worked under him during the Portuguese's gilded seasons at Chelsea.

Yet his coaching ethos hardly resembles Mourinho's muscular functionality. Instead, it is closer to the rigid insistence on passing wherever possession is received that Arsène Wenger advocates to his Arsenal team.

Swansea, coming off a draw at Watford on Tuesday and a loss to Scunthorpe last weekend, were pretty during the first half, but they suffered for Rodgers's beliefs. After seven minutes Ashley Williams refused to hoof away a clearance. Instead he sprayed a backpass towards Dorus de Vries that caught out the goalkeeper allowing the ball to roll over the line

All donations are currently being received gratefully by County. Two wins in 18 matches was the stark statistic ahead of kick-off that showed a team in free-fall. Johnny Metgod, one of Nigel Clough's coaches, said: "It is not only a good result; November time was our last home win [over Scunthorpe]."

Courtesy of this win County are nine points clear of the drop zone and surely will avoid relegation. Their second goal arrived after 54 minutes when a Conor Doyle corner was finished by Steven Davies's header.

Swansea's consolation came from Darren Pratley, whose stooping strike took advantage of Frank Fielding's failure to punch clear.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson at Pride Park, for The Observer on Saturday 12th March 2011 19.41 Europe/London

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