Rovers found themselves 2-0 down by the midway point in the first half, but goals from Keira Walsh, Sophie Flynn and Nicky Emery secured a vital victory for Gemma Donnelly’s side.
Derby opened the scoring on 15 minutes when a mistake in midfield by Lindsay Savage was seized upon by the visitors.
Things went from bad to worse for Rovers 10 minutes later when Derby doubled their advantage.
Rovers were twice denied by the crossbar and saw the referee unintentionally impede an attack, before they eventually pulled a goal back through Walsh on 33 minutes.
However, the hosts were fortunate to only go in 2-1 down at half-time, as just before the break, Derby countered quickly from a Rovers corner, but Jo Hutcheson and Steph Hardy came to Rovers’ rescue.
Rovers made a bright start to the second half and were back on level terms by 52 minutes thanks to a goal from Sophie Flynn.
From then on, the hosts were completely dominant, creating countless chances, before scoring a deserved winner from substitute Emery 11 minutes from time.
“It was a massive and crucial victory for us,” said Donnelly. “The win moved us up to eighth – four off the bottom – and took the pressure off for a few days at least.
“I’m so proud of the girls for the character they showed to come back from a two-goal deficit, especially considering the position in the league we were in. Credit to them for pulling together as a team.
“Our fate is now in our own hands, we’ve just got to go out there on Sunday and do the job.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Fleming, Seed, S. Hardy, Bourne, Walsh, Flynn (Emery 75), Savage, Goodwin (Pennington 81), N. Forster (Manning 54), R. Hardy.