Derby County 3 DONCASTER ROVERS 1
Saturday, 21st December 2013 at Pride Park, Derby
Skybet League Championship
Referee – Mr Nigel Miller
Attendance – 26,314
A cold but fine afternoon at 4th placed Derby County awaited the Rovers, who made one change to the starting line-up, Mark Duffy replacing Federico Macheda, who dropped to the bench where there were wholesale changes with Marc De Val, Harry Forrester and Yun Suk-Young taking their places.
The home team also made just the one change with Will Hughes replacing last week's debutant Jeff Hendrickput, who dropped to the bench.
After five minutes of sounding each other out a good move down the Rovers right ended with Duffy getting in the first strike of the game but it was wide.
Derby then won a free kick 25 yards out on the right, which Martin headed wide at the far post.
In the 13th minute Rovers failed to clear the ball properly in their penalty area, Martin collected it and slid it through for WARD to slot in from close range.
Rovers were not phased and in the 20th minute Wellens put the ball to Brown in the area, he laid it back to Wellems, who hit a ferocious drive from 25 yards that surprised Grant, who could only beat it away to be cleared by his defence.
Two minutes later, a free kick on the Rovers left was placed by Duffy to the far post where Brown headed back to the middle where it was eventually put out for a corner.
Then Duffy played the ball through the middle for Robinson to get in a shot from 25yards that took a deflection for a corner.
It was a fairly even game until the 35th minute when Martin, cutting in from the left, was brought down in the penalty area by McCullough. Penalty said the referee and Martin stepped up to take it. Shooting low to Turnbull’s right, the keeper dived that way and pushed the ball away for his defence to clear.
Rovers matched the Rams by playing good football but neither side really troubled the keepers up to the break.
Half Time – Derby County 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
Rovers started the second half brightly and twice in the 48th minute Robinson came face-to-face with Grant. The first time he shot wide and the second time Grant blocked his shot.
Immediately, in the 49th minute, Derby played the ball in behind the Rovers backline for DAWKINS to run on to it and take it on before shooting past Turnbull.
This sparked the home team into life and they put Rovers under heavy pressure.
Rovers weathered the storm and on the hour good work by Duffy on the right led to him cutting in and hitting a left foot shot that Grant saved.
At the other end a low cross from the Derby left went untouched across the face of goal and was met by Ward at the far post but he could only stab it back against the foot of the post and away.
Two corners to the Rovers came to nothing but in the 64th minute a cross from the Rovers left caused BUXTON to put into his own net under pressure from Robinson and Macheda.
Then Macheda was played down the inside left channel but under pressure he fired wide. Rovers were having a good spell but couldn’t find the end result.
Macheda and Duffy then linked with the latter shooting from a central position but putting wide.
In the 78th minute, following a throw in on the left, BRYSON worked space and from 25yards fired low into the far corner of the net.
Rovers tried hard to the end but Derby were not letting go and nearly added to their score in added time when Turnbull, under pressure, dropped a catch but McCullough hooked the ball clear off the line.
Result – Derby County 3 (Ward 13 Dawkins 49 Bryson 78) Doncaster Rovers 1 (Buxton o.g 64)
Teams – Derby County – Lee Grant; Andre Wisdom, Richard Keogh ©, Jake Buxton, Craig Forsyth; John Eustace, Will Hughes, Craig Bryson; Jamie Ward, Chris Martin, Simon Dawkins
Subs used – Michael Keane for Keogh 25 mins; Jeff Hendrick for Eustace 67 mins; Johnny Russell for Ward 77 mins;
Subs not used – Conor Sammon, Mason Bennett, Kalifa Cisse, Adam Legzdins gk
ROVERS – Ross Turnbull; Paul Quinn, Bongani Khumalo, Luke McCullough, Enda Stevens; Mark Duffy, Richie Wellens ©, Dean Furman, Martin Woods; Theo Robinson, Chris Brown
Subs used – Federico Macheda for Brown 41 mins; Harry Forrester for Woods 57 mins; Liam Wakefield for Quinn 67 mins;
Subs not used –David Cotterill, Marc De Val,Yun