Rovers come from behind to beat struggling Rams
BLACKBURN ROVERS 2-1 DERBY COUNTY
Blackburn Rovers came from behind to overcome the Rams on Friday and leave Wayne Rooney's men still teetering above the relegation zone.
It was a game the Rams will feel aggrieved to have lost, particularly given what looked a clear cut penalty in stoppage time wasn't awarded, but they may also be grateful they didn't lose by more given Rovers missed some good chances in the second-half.
A tentative opening quarter saw neither side really threaten the goal but Blackburn slowly began to gain more possession and put pressure on the visitors.
But it was Derby who would take the lead on 23 minutes. Nathan Byrne's deep, and perhaps over-hit, cross found its way to Graeme Shinnie at the back post and his ball back across goal was headed home by Tom Lawrence from close range.
Shinnie saw a lot shot saved low down by keeper Thomas Kaminski, then Patrick Roberts curled an effort wide when in space on the edge of the penalty area on 37 minutes.
But four minutes before half-time the hosts were level, as another lapse in concentration from a set piece left Sam Gallagher able to get free and head home from a right wing corner.
The Rams still nearly got back in front before half-time, Louie Sibley's low shot tipped wide by Kaminski in stoppage time.
Derby began the second-half well but it was Rovers with the first key opportunity, Adam Armstrong forcing a good save low down from David Marshall, who denied the same player again on 58 minutes after a through ball sent him in towards goal and then once more a minute later as the Rams again allowed Armstrong to get free.
And Rovers would eventually get the lead they deserved on 67 minutes. An error by Andre Wisdom saw him slip and give the ball to Armstrong, he in turn feeding Harvey Elliott who cut inside and struck an effort which Marshall could only push into the top corner of the net.
Derby responded well and nearly levelled on 72, Lawrence's free-kick from 25 yards out parried by Kaminski and Byrne unable to turn home the rebound under pressure.
The Rams then had plenty of possession but were struggling to create further chances until Shinnie's cross found sub Colin Kazim-Richards with five minutes to go but his header down was well blocked by Kaminski.
Byrne saw a corner in stoppage time nearly go directly into the net at the near post, Kaminski managing to claw the ball out, then sub Festy Ebosele looked to be denied a clear penalty in the dying seconds as he was clipped on the byline, the referee not interested, play continuing and Kazim-Richards then heading an effort straight at Kaminski as the final whistle blew.
Blackburn: Kaminski, Nayambe, Johnson, Armstrong (Evans 87), Gallagher (Brereton 83), Holtby (Rothwell 57), Douglas, Elliott (Bennett 83), Harwood-Bellis, Travis, Banthwaite.
Not used: Downing, Pears, Bell, Buckley, Dolan.
Derby: Marshall, Wisdom, Forsyth (Buchanan 70), Shinnie, Jozwiak (Watson 70), Bird, Lawrence (Ebosele 85), Byrne, Clarke, Sibley (Kazim-Richards 57), Roberts.
Not used: Roos, Dixon, McDonald, Knight, Brown.