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Report: Rovers 2-1 Derby County

Rovers come back from a goal down to earn the points thanks to goals from Gallagher and Elliott

16 April 2021

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Rovers came back from a goal down to earn a crucial victory against Wayne Rooney's Derby County at Ewood Park

Tony Mowbray's men battled back after ex-Rover Tom Lawrence headed the Rams in front midway through the half.

Sam Gallagher nodded home with a couple of minutes to go until the break to hand Rovers a lift at the break.

The hosts grew as the second half progressed and Harvey Elliott lashed home what turned out to be the winner with under 25 minutes remaining.

Rovers were indebted to Thomas Kaminski though, with the Belgian stopper in inspired form to pull off a number of vital saves against the visitors, who pressed for an equaliser that never arrived.

Mowbray made two changes to his team for the game, with Jarrad Branthwaite and Lewis Holtby coming in for the injured Darragh Lenihan and Tom Trybull.

After a bright start from both sides, it took until the 20th minute for the first opportunity of the game, with Adam Armstrong's fee kick being superbly beaten away by David Marshall.

However, just two minutes later and it was the Rams who got the advantage with their first attempt and it came from Rovers old boy Lawrence.

With Taylor Harwood-Bellis being pulled out in an attempt to stop a cross from the left, Graeme Shinnie's ball in was perfect for Lawrence to ghost into and head beyond Thomas Kaminski from close range.

Shinnie nearly went from provider to scorer a few minutes later, but his right-footed effort was comfortable for Kaminski to hold down low.

The goal certainly gave the Rams a spring in their step and it could have been worse for the hosts had Patrick Roberts' found the bottom corner instead of firing just wide of Kaminski's goal.

That was to be a let off for Rovers, who forced an equaliser soon after through Gallagher's seventh goal of the season.

Barry Douglas' inswinging free kick flew into a dangerous area and Gallagher rose highest to guide his header beyond David Marshall with just three minutes of the half remaining.

However, Derby responded well and Kaminski did superbly to get his left hand on Louie Sibley's low strike to turn the effort behind for a corner.

That was to be the last of the first half action as the sides went into the break all square.

After Lawrence sent a strike well over the bar, Armstrong almost put Rovers ahead at the other end but saw Marshall kept himself big and the chance passed the top goalscorer by.

The introduction of Joe Rothwell brought some life and energy to Rovers and his ball set Armstrong away, but his strike was blocked by Marshall before the Scot gratefully grabbed the rebound.

The pressure on the visitors' goal was mounting and Rovers were rewarded for their persistance when Elliott thundered home from outside the box to put Mowbray's men in front.

Under pressure from Gallagher, Andre Wisdom slipped and that allowed Armstrong to feed Elliott, who cut inside before slamming into the net from range despite Marshall getting a touch on the attempt.

Derby responded well and Nathan Byrne, who was one of three changes for the game, saw his rebound clatter the post after Kaminski pushed Lawrence's dipping free kick into the right back's path.

There was still time for County to find an equaliser and Rovers were thankful to Kaminski, who denied ex-Rovers loanee Colin Kazim-Richards, whose downward header was destined for the bottom corner.

Kaminski was called into action again in the final seconds, with the Belgian alert to stop Byrne's corner from directly flying into the net and then holding onto Kazim-Richards' close range header in the final action of the game.

It wasn't pretty and Rovers were forced to cling on at times, but the points were just about deserved as Mowbray's men moved onto 50 points.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday 20th April, kick-off 7pm.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe, Harwood-Bellis, Branthwaite, Douglas, Johnson, Travis, Holtby (Rothwell, 57), Elliott (Bennett, 83), Armstrong (c) (Evans, 87), Gallagher (Brereton, 83).

Unused substitutes: Pears, Downing, Bell, Buckley, Dolan.

Goal: Gallagher, 42, Elliott, 67.

Booked: Holtby, 32, Elliott, 67.

Derby County: Marshall (c), Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Forsyth (Buchanan, 70) , Roberts, Bird, Shinnie, Jozwiak (Watson, 70), Sibley (Kazim-Richards, 57), Lawrence (Ebosele, 85).

Unused substitutes: Roos, Dixon, MacDonald, Knight, Brown.

Goal: Lawrence, 23

Booked: Clarke, 45.

Referee: Stephen Martin.

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