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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/10/2015

21 October 2015

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Report: Rovers 0 Derby County 0

Rovers had to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining draw with Derby County under the Ewood Park lights.

The match saw Rovers claim their fourth consecutive clean sheet on home soil after playing out a goalless draw.

The Blue and Whites were the dominant side throughout but they just couldn't get the goals their play deserved.

Chris Taylor, on his first start of the season, twice went close early on, before Scott Carson saved well from Markus Olsson.

At the other end Jason Steele was called upon to deny Tom Ince from distance but that first half effort proved to be the only time the Rovers goal was troubled.

The second half was all one-way traffic towards the Rams' net, Tom Lawrence saw a near-post effort saved before Corry Evans miscued when well placed.

Rovers continued to press in the closing stages with substitute John O'Sullivan and Ben Marshall both going close, but in the end they had to settle for the solitary point.

Ahead of kick-off Rovers made two changes from the side that faced MK Dons at the weekend.

Both were enforced as Adam Henley served a one-match ban following his sending off, whilst a bruised ankle sustained in the match by Craig Conway meant the midfielder also missed out.

That allowed Chris Taylor to make his first start of the season, whilst Nathan Delfouneso returned to the starting XI.

The visitors also made two changes from their Sunday victory over Wolves as former Rover Stephen Warnock, and Jacob Butterfield, came in for Craig Forsyth and Jeff Hendrick.

It was the home side who were on the front foot from the off forcing a series of early corners.

From one such Tom Lawrence in-swinger Rovers should have opened the scoring but as the ball arrived at Taylor at the back post he could only plant his header wide of goal.

Then on ten minutes the duo combined once more. Rovers working the ball well down the right as Lawrence got the better of Warnock, but his fizzed centre into the six-yard box arrived a little to quickly for Taylor and he couldn't his first-time effort on target.

Having had little to do defensively, Shane Duffy was called upon to make an important block in the area after Tom Ince fed Johnny Russell, the Rover thowing himself in front of the ball to divert the Scot's effort behind.

But after an even spell of play, both goalkeepers were called upon to make saves. 

Neat approach play from Rovers saw the lively Taylor feed Markus Olsson in on goal, he shot well across the bows but Scott Carson in the Derby goal turned the ball behind.

Then at the other end Ince looked to take advantage as space opened up in front of him, the former Blackpool man let fly from distance but his dipping shot was well kept out by Steele.

A flurry of bookings threatened to spoil what had been an entertaining opening half. But it was Rovers who ended it as it had begun with a series of corners, but they were unable to make them count as the first 45 ended goalless.

Rovers were strong starters as the second half got under way with the Rams immediately pressed back.

An excellent run from Olsson on 48 saw the Swede charge into the box, his cross reached Lawrence on the opposing side but as the forward fired near post Carson claimed low down.

Three minutes later a fine passing move opened up the Derby defence once more, Corry Evans fed Jordan Rhodes who slipped the ball to Taylor, he found Evans who had continued his run, but the Northern Ireland international mis-kicked from the edge of the area, to spurn an excellent opportunity.

With the visitors only having a Jacob Butterfield shot from distance in the second half the Rams made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go as Darren Bent and Jamie Hanson replaced Chris Martin and Butterfield, yet it was Rovers who were still the side looking the more likely to break the deadlock.

Chris Taylor received a standing ovation from the home supporters as he was replaced on 76 minutes. The midfielder had worked tirelessly on his first appearance of the season. He was replaced by John O'Sullivan for his first league appearance at Ewood Park.

Enterprising in their forward play, Rovers soon worked the ball well down their left through Delfouneso, he found Akpan inside who did likewise to O'Sullivan, the Irishman shot goalwards only for the ball to take a kind deflection and loop into the arms of Carson when on any other occasion it could have nestled in the back of the net.

Ben Marshall, who had been an eager runner from defence all evening, joined the attack on 83 minutes to fire a shot in on goal, but his effort from the corner of the box whistled past the near post.

Four additional minutes were played at the end of the 90, but despite late pressure Rovers, they were unable to force that last chance that could have lead to them claiming all three points.

ROVERS: Steele, Marshall (sub Spurr 90+4 mins), Duffy, Hanley (c), Olsson, Akpan (sub Williamson 84 mins), Evans, Taylor (sub O'Sullivan 76 mins), Lawrence, Delfouneso, Rhodes.

Subs not used: Raya (GK), Petshi, Nyambe, Lenihan.

Goals: None.

Booked: Lawrence, Taylor, Akpan, Evans.

DERBY: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock (sub Forsyth 79 mins), Thorne, Johnson, Butterfield (sub Hanson 71 mins), Ince, Martin (c) (sub Bent 71 mins), Russell.

Subs not used: Grant (GK), Baird, Pearce, Weimann.

Goals: None.

Booked: Johnson, Keogh.

Attendance: 12,968 (including 1390 visiting supporters)

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