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[Archived] News Article -> 2012/13 Full-Time: Rovers 2 Derby County 0

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Rovers picked up a vital win that moved them out of the relegation zone after a solid performance saw them beat Derby 2–0 at Ewood Park. First-half goals from Jordan Rhodes and Scott Dann were enough to ensure the victory as Rovers move a step closer to ensuring their survival.

Derby started brightly, but Rovers took the lead after Jones harassed two Derby players and found Rhodes in the box, who neatly turned before being taken down by Brayford. The Scottish international picked himself up and, for the second match in a row, converted a penalty to grab his 24th goal for Rovers this season. Derby nearly got onto level terms when Sandomierski attempted to chip the ball in the direction of Kane only to see his pass intercepted by Ward, but the forward's control let him down and Sandomierski was able to recover and make the save. It was a nervous moment for the Polish keeper, but it was the only one in an otherwise impressive performance.

Rovers thought that they had doubled their lead from a corner shortly after, but Hanley's effort was headed up and onto his own crossbar by Coutts and made its way to safety. Despite that scare, it was Derby that were looking the more threatening and they should have got back onto level terms when Rovers were caught out by a quick free-kick and a cross found Martin unmarked six yards out, but his effort was straight at Sandomierski when it looked as though he was certain to score.

Rovers were hanging on for half-time, but deep into first-half stoppage time they broke forward and won themselves a corner. Jones' cross missed a host of bodies in the box before hitting Dann, who seemed to know little about it, and the ball found its way into the net and doubled Rovers' advantage. It was a crucial goal that put Rovers firmly in control of a match that had looked very even up until that point.

Rovers looked far more comfortable in the second half, no doubt boosted by the cushion of the second goal and Derby struggled to create any real openings. The Rovers back four, which has so often looked porous and error prone, looked confident and assured and the home side continued to threaten on the break. Rhodes should have put the match to bed when Sandomierski's long clearance put him in behind the Derby back four, but he failed to properly control the ball and his tame effort was easily saved by Fielding.

Late in the game Sandomierski produced an excellent save to deny Davies from close range, but by then the win looked to be going the home side's way. It was a solid, if unspectacular, performance from Rovers and just what they need in their fight against relegation. The win sees them move out of the relegation zone and, with a game in hand and a superior goal difference, their destiny is very much in their own hands.

The major negatives from today's match will have been the bookings for Hanley and Kazim-Richards and means that they will be suspended for two matches as they reached the 10-booking threshold before the April 13th deadline. That leaves Rovers worryingly shorthanded at the back and Bowyer will need to do some reshuffling for the next two matches, but he will no doubt be pleased with his first win during his second spell in charge.

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