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Match Reports

Report: Derby County 3-0 Rovers

A bad day at the office for Rovers at Pride Park against the Rams

8 March 2020

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It was a bad day at the office for Rovers, whose five-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Derby County at Pride Park.

Two first half goals from Louie Sibley and Chris Martin put the Rams ahead going into the interval in the East Midlands.

Rovers improved after the break, but couldn't find a route back into the encounter before Martin made it 3-0 from the spot in the final five minutes.

It would go from bad to worse for Rovers in added time when substitute John Buckley was shown a straight red card for a foul on Curtis Davies, in a game that the visitors will look to learn from and improve on ahead of next week's home battle with Bristol City.

The boss made one change to his starting XI, with Ben Brereton coming into the side in place of Dominic Samuel, who dropped to the bench.

For the hosts, Phillip Cocu left Wayne Rooney out of the squad, whilst ex-Rovers loanee Tom Lawrence hadn't recovered from an injury picked up in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United just a few days earlier.

Rovers worked an opportunity inside the opening minute of the game at Pride Park, but Tosin Adarabioyo could only head over from Stewart Downing's outswinging corner kick.

Another of Downing's set pieces caused confusion again soon after, with the ball dropping to the returning Brereton, who could only swips narrowly over the upright.

At the other end, Christian Walton was forced to beat away Martin's swirling attempt from range as the Rams looked to force an opener themselves.

That deadlock was broken just before the half hour mark when Sibley marked his first start for his side with a scorching strike from 25 yards that flew past Walton and into the top left-hand corner of the net to hand the hosts the advantage.

Rovers were indebted to Walton 10 minutes later when the 'keeper kept himself big to block Waghorn's close range attempt after the frontman was put through on goal.

The lead was doubled five minutes before the interval through Martin, who was in the right place at the right time to slot home the rebound after Walton pushed Graeme Shinnie's drive into his path.

Waghorn should have scored his team's third just three minutes later, but after being slipped in and rounding Walton, he could only hit the post before the danger was cleared.

That meant Rovers had plenty of work to do in the second half, and Walton ensured the visitors remained in the contest when he tipped Waghorn's pinpoint free kick around the post just four minutes after the interval.

Walton was again on hand soon after to hold onto Sibley's attempt as Cocu's men looked for a goal that would surely have clinched all three points.

Amari'i Bell went close to getting Rovers on the scoresheet just after the hour mark, but his deflected shot was scooped away from danger by Ben Hamer in the home goal.

A double switch with 18 minutes remaining saw Mowbray make a double change, with Buckley and Danny Graham entering the action in place of Sam Gallagher and Brereton as the boss made his final substitutions.

The game was wrapped up with five minutes remaining when Martin stroked home from the penalty spot after Bennett tangled with Jason Knight in the box.

Things would get worse for Mowbray's men late on when Buckley was shown red to simply compound the misery ahead of the trip back to East Lancashire.

Rovers: Walton, Bennett (c), Nyambe, Adarabioyo, Bell, Travis (Johnson, 59), Downing, Rothwell, Brereton (Buckley, 72), Gallagher (Graham, 72), Armstrong.

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Samuel, Davenport, Rankin-Costello.

Booked: Travis, 25, Rothwell, 45, Bennett, 84

Sent off: Buckley, 90.

Derby County: Hamer, Wisdom (c), Forsyth, Shinnie, Waghorn (Davies, 76), Clarke, Martin, Bogle (Whittaker, 88), Knight, Sibley (Marriott, 76), Bird.

Unused substitutes: Roos, Evans, Lowe, Malone.

Goals: Sibley, 27, Martin 41, pen 85.

Booked: Sibley, 75

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 26,590 (1,192 away).

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