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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

29 September 2019 Venue Derby County Football Academy Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Derby County PL2
1 - 0
Blackburn Rovers PL2

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Match Reports

Report: Derby County U23s 1-0 Rovers U23s

Morgan Whittaker's goal just before the break settles a close contest at a wet and windy Moor Farm

29 September 2019

Rovers Under-23s dominated for long spells, but fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Derby County in Premier League 2.

Rovers Under-23s dominated for long spells, but fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Derby County in Premier League 2.

A close contest between two hard-working sides was settled by Morgan Whittaker’s low strike four minutes before the break.

Ahead of the game, Billy Barr was able to call upon the services of several players with senior experience, as he made four changes to the side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on Monday night,

Richie Smallwood, Ryan Nyambe, Harry Chapman and Sam Hart all came into the side, at the expense of Sam Barnes, Lewis Thompson, Brad Lyons and Dominic Samuel, who made his long-awaited first team return late on against Luton Town at Ewood Park.

In wet and windy conditions, Rovers started brightly, with Hart looking lively down the left early on and Jack Vale heading a deep Stefan Mols cross just wide of the far post.

Derby grew into the game and came close to opening the scoring on 17 minutes when Graeme Shinnie’s corner was headed goalwards by Ethan Wassall, but Hart was in the right place to clear the danger off the line.

The hosts had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring on 28 minutes when Jahmal Hector-Ingram found himself clean through on goal, but he fired straight at Joe Hilton.

Just past the half-hour mark, Chapman’s superb 25-yard shot landed on the roof of the Derby net and straight down the other end, Max Bird played in Whittaker, who rounded Hilton, but then skied his shot over the bar.

The hosts were beginning to gain the upper hand and broke the deadlock on 41 minutes. After good work by Shinnie, the ball broke to Whittaker, who fired a low shot past Hilton into the bottom right corner of the Rovers net.

The Rams almost doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Kornell McDonald’s cross from the right was met by the fast-arriving Craig Forsyth, but Charley Doyle somehow managed to clear the shot off the line.

As the rain eased, Rovers made a strong start to the second half and found themselves camped in the Derby County half for long periods.

On 54 minutes, Vale burst into the box, before firing wide of the target with his left foot and the Welshman went close again just past the hour mark, as Hart’s cross from the left dropped kindly to Vale, but his shot was brilliantly blocked.

The Rams rarely threatened the Rovers goal after the break, with Whittaker’s strike on 71 minutes, which was held by Hilton at the second attempt, their only effort in the whole half.

Ten minutes later, Forsyth did well not to head Mols’ cross into the back of his own net, as Rovers ramped up the pressure late on.

But despite dominating possession, clear-cut chances were at a premium, as Rovers were unable to find an equaliser that their spirited second-half display deserved.

Derby County: Mitchell, McDonald (Minkley 64), Forsyth, Shinnie, Wassall, Buchanan, Shonibare (Cresswell 77), Bird, Hector-Ingram, Whittaker (Brown 88), Mitchell-Lawson.
Subs not used: Barnes, Dixon.

Goal: Whittaker (41).
Booked: Shinnie (84).

Rovers: Hilton, Nyambe, Doyle, Grayson, Hart, Smallwood, Davenport (White 77), Mols, Rankin-Costello (Thompson 46), Chapman, Vale (Lyons 85).
Subs not used: Dowling.

Booked: Hart (21), Smallwood (30), Doyle (69).

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