Lambert levels as Saints stay top
Rickie Lambert scored his 11th goal of the season to ensure the Saints remain at the top of the Championship.
Lambert's 61st minute strike after an impressive move from the away side cancelled out Theo Robinson's tap-in just three minutes into the match.
The match at a packed Pride Park was third versus first and Derby made the perfect start when Robinson reacted the quickest after Kelvin Davis could only parry Ben Davies' effort.
The away side reacted well to Derby's opener, and had the backing from nearly 3,000 fans who made the long journey from the south coast.
Nigel Adkins' men continued to apply pressure on the Rams, but were lacking that cutting edge in the final third - and with starlet Adam Lallana surprisingly not featuring, the Saints definitely missed their star man who has the key to unlock the door.
The league leaders did come close through Guly Do Prado on 14 minutes, but the Brazilian saw his effort sail past Franky Fielding's post.
Defender Jose Fonte thought he had the equaliser in he 34th minute after connecting with a corner, only to see Steven Davies clear his header off the line.
Derby ended the first half the happier of the two sides, but you sensed that Southampton only needed a clear chance to draw level.
In the second half, the Saints were attacking the sea of yellow that was behind Fielding's goal - and their hard work was rewarded in the 61st minute.
Southampton produced another brilliant move, which saw David Connolly and Lambert produce a spectacular one-two on the edge of the area, with the ball falling to the perfect person as the 29-year-old had no doubt in his mind when he fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner to send the travelling fans into jubilation.
After the Saints had earned their equaliser, they somewhat took their foot off the gas as the match became more open.
The match was great advert for the Championship and the result could have gone either way, with a point a piece being a fair result.