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Match Reports

Match Report : 25/01/2014

25 January 2014

Rovers 1 Derby County 1

Rovers and the Rams earned a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

After a goalless first half that saw Rovers have the better of proceedings, they eventually got their rewards when Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede combined and the Benin international headed home.

Derby had rarely threatened for an hour but ended the match much the stronger side, substitute Patrick Bamford levelling for the Rams six minutes from time.

Both sides had chances in the closing stages but a draw was probably the fair result.

Three changes were made from the side that tasted defeat at Nottingham Forest last time out. Into the starting eleven came Paul Robinson, Matt Kilgallon and Jordan Rhodes, and whilst Simon Eastwood and Lee Williamson dropped to the bench, Scott Dann missed out with an achilles injury.

It was the home side that had the better of the first half at a chilly Ewood Park, but it was a match that was slow to get going.

Rudy Gestede was Rovers' main danger, playing a key role in a trio of chances ten minutes in.

A Ben Marshall free-kick found the Parisian powering a header goalwards in typical fashion but Lee Grant in the County goal saved well. From the resulting corner Gestede again got his head to the ball but it was hacked away inside the six-yard box.

Another good header from Gestede saw strike partner Jordan Rhodes try to get the better of Andre Wisdom, but after being down just outside the box, Marshall fired over the resulting free-kick.

Marshall's match wouldn't last much longer as he was stretchered off at the midway point of the half. Chasing back to tackle  Jeff Hendrick the midfielder caught his studs in the turf and barrelled into the Rams man. After a spell of treatment he eventually left on a stretcher, not before he had the ignominy of being booked. Lee Williamson on to replace.

Tom Cairney was narrowly wide with a first time effort before Jason Lowe found the same side of Grant's goal with a cheeky back header. Then on 30 minutes Jordan Rhodes robbed John Eustace to feed Gestede but Grant claimed his low shot at the second attempt.

The visitors had only half chances in the first 45 minutes. A John Eustace effort through a crowded area was comfortably claimed by Paul Robinson, before Chris Martin was wide of goal with a speculative effort from the corner of the area.

The half ended with two further chances for Rovers, Lee Williamson seeing a goalbound shot deflect wide. From the resulting Cairney corner Grant Hanley's glancing header flashed wide.

Unlike the first half, the second erupted into life almost immediately after it's resumption, with Rovers bagging the opening goal two minutes in.

Matt Kilgallon stepped in to rob the ball before threading it through to Jordan Rhodes and he squared it superbly to Rudy Gestede who dived to head home into the empty net.

It was the striker's third goal in four league outings in 2014.

Rovers then had claims for a penalty waved away when Gestede appeared to be pushed when going up for a header with Richard Keogh, as those appeals were waved away, Tom Cairney saw a shot blocked.

Eventually the visitors rose from their slumber and slowly but surely they started to impose themselves on the game. Simon Dawkins' low centre flashed across the six-yard box, Will Hughes just failing to connect.

Craig Forsyth fired narrowly over after good play down the Rams left before Hughes' delicate lob landed on the roof of the net.

The visitors thew on further attacking options with Patrick Bamford and Conor Sammon, as Dawkins centred once more Sammon couldn't connect in the centre but the ball bounced off Bamford and behind.

Rovers were soaking up more and more pressure with attacks rare, but as the home side broke three on two, Gestede fed Rhodes who squared for Cairney but his mis-control allowed Derby to clear.

With the visitors having so much joy down their left, Todd Kane was brought on to shore up that side replacing man of the match Rudy Gestede. But within seconds of his introduction the Rams grabbed an equaliser their second half display merited.

A ball forward from front to back was perhaps fortunate to find Chris Martin but as he touched it onto Partrick Bamford the on-loan Chelsea man made no mistake, curling a wonderful shot beyond Robinson and in at the far post.

Todd Kane was then played in by Chris Taylor but under the challenge of Forsyth he didn't go to ground, he continued and shot narrowly wide. His honesty perhaps proving costly.

Both sides had chances in the closing stages, Jordan Rhodes hit a free-kick over, as did Patrick Bamford at the other end.

The last chance fell to Chris Taylor but with options all around, he chose to shoot but his effort was off target.

In the end the draw was a fair result on the balance of play, but to concede six minutes from time means dropped points for Rovers.

ROVERS: Robinson, Henley, Hanley (c), Kilgallon, Spurr, Taylor, Lowe, Cairney, Marshall (sub Williamson 24 mins), Gestede (sub Kane 83 mins), Rhodes.

Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Dunn, Olsson, Morris, Mahoney.

Goals: Gestede 47 mins.

Booked: Marshall.

DERBY COUNTY: Grant, Forsyth, Bryson, Keogh (c), Hendrick (sub Hughes 35 mins), Martin, Ward (sub Bamford 64 mins), Eustace (sub Sammon 73 mins), Buxton, Dawkins, Wisdom.

Subs not used: Legzdins (GK), Russell, Whitbread, Keane.

Goals: Bamford 84 mins.

Booked: Ward, Bryson.

Attendance: 13,796 (including 1120 visiting supporters)

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