Derby in pole position to claim last League One play-off spot
Derby edged ahead in the League One play-off chase when James Collins earned a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth.
Collins cancelled out Colby Bishop’s opener to leave County two points ahead of seventh-placed Peterborough with one game remaining.
Derby made a strong start with David McGoldrick seeing a 25-yard shot turned behind by Matt Macey before he set up Nathaniel Mendez-Laing who shot wide from 12 yards.
Portsmouth were struggling to contain McGoldrick, who brought another fine save from Macey, but they stunned Pride Park by going ahead when Bishop headed in Joe Morrell’s chip to the back post in the 24th minute.
The visitors had weathered the early storm and would have doubled their lead but for Joe Wildsmith’s saves from Joe Pigott and Connor Ogilvie in the space of 60 seconds.
Derby made a treble change in the 64th minute and it paid off seven minutes later when Curtis Davies headed on a free-kick for Collins to volley in from 10 yards.
The home side piled on the pressure but Portsmouth’s defence was resolute and denied Derby the goal that would have guaranteed a top-six finish.