Date:Saturday February 28 2009
Attendance: 14, 435
Doncaster Rovers came from behind to beat The Rams 2-1 at the Keepmoat Stadium to put an end to the four game winning streak in the league from Nigel Clough`s men. A superb Robbie Savage free kick, his first goal for Derby, gave the visitor`s the lead after a scrappy first half but Rovers quickly hit back and they began to show some of the football that has seen them climb away from the relegation zone before a Mark Wilson shot bounced over Stephen Bywater to give the home side the lead. Despite some late pressure The Rams didn`t look like getting back in the match and the three points saw Doncaster haul themselves above their visitors in the table.
Kris Commons was ruled out with a calf injury so Chris Porter took his place up front and there were returns for Gary Teale and Jay McEveley although Nacer Barazite missed out after his dislocated shoulder. Paul Green received a great reception from the home fans on his first return to the Keepmoat Stadium and both sides looked to play football on the deck as the game got underway. Paul Heffernan had the games first chance when a Brian Stock ball sent him in on goal and his effort forced Bywater into a sharp save at his near post.
Doncaster were on top and had a couple of long range efforts that failed to trouble Bywater and Chris Porter had The Rams` first effort when pressure from Hulse forced Mills to head the ball sideways but the former Motherwell striker couldn`t keep his effort down as it flew harmlessly over the top. Davies then forced another hurried clearance from the home side and Gary Teale hit a firm effort straight at Sullivan in the Rovers goal.
The game went through a scrappy spell with a sliced Robbie Savage clearance the only save from either keeper when Bywater had to grab it on the line and Chris Porter hit the bar with a well placed header from a free-kick that bounced back into Sullivan`s arms. The last chance of the half fell to Davies who was played in by a Hulse`s flicked header but he fired over the top from an angle and the game went into the interval goalless.
The first chance of the second half came Derby`s way when Savage was fouled on the edge of the area and the Welshman picked himself up to curl a superb effort past Sullivan to record his first goal in a Rams shirt. However, Rovers were back on level terms nine minutes later when Paul Heffernan was given room in the box and he stooped to head a Wilson cross beyond Bywater into the net. The Doncaster forward then went down under a McEveley challenge but the referee waived away the penalty appeals and he turned down further appeals on 65 minutes when James Coppinger went down under another challenge.
Doncaster had their tails up after the equaliser and trouble looked to be brewing after Sullivan claimed a Teale corner and Steve Davies was in the thick of it but it was all handbags at dawn and the referee calmed to situation down. The home side then went ahead after 70 minutes when a half-cleared corner was controlled on his chest by Wilson and his dipping shot bounced awkwardly in front of Bywater and up into the net.
A Savage free kick caused concern in the home defence before Paul Heffernan had a half chance in the area that came to nothing. Paul Green`s return came to a premature end when he was replaced by Mile Sterjovski with ten minutes to go and Heffernan had another effort well saved by Bywater to keep his side in the game. A Sullivan throw out was intercepted as Hulse and Porter got a touch on the ball but Savage couldn`t get his effort on target as the ball fell to him.
Derby had more of the possession as they looked to get back in the game but were resorting to longer balls into the area and, despite territorial advantage, they didn`t create any clear cut chances as Rovers hung on to claim a 2-1 victory.
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Date:Saturday February 28 2009
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