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Match Reports

Report: Derby County 0 Rovers 0

Rovers cling on to earn a big point at Frank Lampard's Derby County, showing spirit

18 September 2018

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Rovers picked up a hard-earned point on the road against a good Derby County side despite being under the cosh for much of the game at Pride Park.

In truth, Tony Mowbray's side were uncharacteristically not at the races in the Midlands, with the Rams having the better of the play and the chances throughout the clash.

The visitors lacked creativity and chances on the night, but showed that spirit and determination which goes with a Mowbray side to earn a point which looked unlikely at times.

Mason Mount was the standout performer, coming closest when he smashed a free kick against David Raya's upright in the second half.

Rovers' best opportunity came from the right boot of substitute Elliott Bennett late on, but a winner for the visitors would have been undeserved on the balance of play in all honesty.

A shuffling of the pack saw skipper Charlie Mulgrew ruled out of the squad due to illness, with Derrick Williams slotting into the Scotland international's vacant centre back spot.

Kasey Palmer also returned against his former club, taking the place of another ex-Ram in Danny Graham, which meant Adam Armstrong played as the central striker.

The other switch saw Craig Conway earn a first start of the season in place of Bennett, who took his place on the bench.

For the hosts, ex-Rover Tom Lawrence was unavailable, with the Wales international suspended having been sent off at Rotherham United on Saturday. Craig Bryson came in for the flying winger.

Lawrence was one of three changes made by Frank Lampard from their last outing at Rotherham, the other two seeing Martyn Waghorn and Tom Huddlestone drop to the bench, with Mason Bennett and experienced former Preston striker David Nugent come into the XI.

Rovers settled into the game early on but it was the Rams who had the best opportunities in the opening 10 minutes with Florian Jozefzoon heading wide of the target before Chelsea loanee Mount curled over the bar from just inside the box.

Mount went close on two occasions midway through the half, with both his strikes being deflected wide before home skipper Richard Keogh saw his close range effort blocked on the line by Williams.

Next it was Jayden Bogle to try his luck from range as he raced up from right back before unleashing a strike which forced DavidRaya into a fine stop to his right.

It wasn't working for the visitors, and Mowbray made a brave call in replacing Conway just after the half hour mark with Graham entering the action.

Graham's introduction halted Derby's flow, but the hosts were still looking dangerous and Bennett kept Raya busy with a long range strike which the Spaniard had to tip behind.

It was a poor half for Rovers' standards and things could only get better in the second 45 minutes as the teams went into the break on level terms.

But the half began in the same vein as the impressive Mount crashed a free kick against the crossbar from 25 yards before Ryan Nyambe cleared the danger.

Rovers were lacking creation but a chance did finally come the way of Bradley Dack, who latched onto a Graham knockdown but saw Scott Carson in his way before the follow up flew into the side-netting. 

That opportunity gave Rovers a lease of life and Corry Evans rampaged forward but again Carson was there to gather the Northern Irishman's drive.

Rovers were pushing further up the pitch and Graham tried the spectacular from the edge of the box but the ball trickled through to Carson, whose clean sheet remained intact.

With four minutes remaining substitute Bennett nearly caught Carson out with a long range strike which went a yard past the ex-England stopper's right-hand post.

That would have been robbery, but Rovers will have taken the point at half time and that's exactly what they left with as the whistle blew to signal the end of a backs to the wall display.

Derby County: Carson, Forsyth, Bryson, Tomori, Keogh (c), Mount, Josefzoon (Wilson, 69), Johnson, Bennett (Waghorn, 77), Nugent (Marriott, 79), Bogle.

Unused substitutes: Roos, Wisdom, Huddlestone, Malone.

Booked: Waghorn, 90.

Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Williams, Bell, Evans, Smallwood, Conway (c) (Graham, 31), Dack, Palmer (Bennett, 53), Armstrong (Reed, 64).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Brereton, Downing.

Booked: Williams, 46, Palmer, 48, Lenihan, 90.

Referee: Darren England.

Attendance: 23,580.

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