It really is a sorry state of affairs for Doncaster Rovers when they can’t get anything from a trip to Derby County. After three successive league victories at Pride Park, Rovers crashed to a 3-0 defeat to the side who now sit at the opposite end of the Championship table to themselves. As we muttered in the opening minutes against West Ham last week; “its going to be a long hard season”.
Rovers had looked bright from the start too, forcing an early corner from which Richard Naylor headed over, but just six minutes in it was the home side who took the lead. Ben Davies cross from the right picking out the run of Kevin Kilbane who headed home the opening goal. Before the quarter of an hour mark Rovers would forge a decent chance of an equaliser as Chris Brown fed Giles Barnes in the area, but he could only pick out the supporters of his former club high in the stand behind the goal.
Chances would be at a premium for both sides throughout the half and Derby’s only real chance of adding to their advantage came as Jeff Hendrick fed James Bailey in the right channel but his effort from outside the area flew wide. At the other end Rovers too were restricted to efforts from distance, both John Oster and Simon Gillett firing over from the top of the box.
Within second of the start of the second half Derby would be two goals to the good, as Ben Davies got the better of Mustapha Dumbuya on the Derby left and his excellent cross was met by Steven Davies in the middle who headed beyond Gary Woods. County enjoyed the better of the half’s opening ten minutes with Rovers finally getting a sight of goal just before the hour mark as the impressive Milan Lalkovic fired just over. However, minutes later Derby would extend their lead even further as Ben Davies tried his luck from the edge of the area, curling an effort beyond Woods into the far corner to make it 3-0.
Rovers sadly went from bad to worse as the game prgressed and only once really looked like edging back into the game as Gillett’s shot was hooked off the line by Bailey. After impressive performances which didn’t get the rewards they deserved in their opening three games, this showing got all that it merited. A thoroughly disappointing Doncaster performance.
Derby County line-up: Frank Fielding; John Brayford, Jason Shackell, Mark O’Brien, Kevin Kilbane; James Bailey, Jeff Hendrick, Craig Bryson (Chris Maguire), Ben Davies; Steven Davies (Theo Robinson), Jamie Ward (Lee Croft)
subs not used: Gareth Roberts, Adam Legzdins
Doncaster Rovers line-up: Gary Woods; Mustapha Dumbuya (Sam Hird), Richard Naylor, George Friend, Tommy Spurr; Simon Gillett, John Oster, Reece Brown (Kyle Bennett); Giles Barnes; Milan Lalkovic, Chris Brown (Mark Wilson)
subs not used: Neil Sullivan, James Baxendale
booked: George Friend