Rovers claim Derby win
Rams rue penalty miss as they throw away lead
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 30/12/07 4:02pm
Bentley: Grabbed winner
Blackburn came from behind to seal a 2-1 win at bottom of the table Derby County.
The match-winner was the highly-impressive David Bentley who fired home from 25-yards just before half-time.
But things could have been so much different as Matt Oakley had fired Derby ahead on 27 minutes.
Steve Howard then missed a penalty ten minutes later and Rovers hit back in emphatic style as Roque Santa Cruz levelled just moments later before Bentley fired home.
Derby had taken the lead with their first attack of the game just before the half-hour mark as a cross from Tyrone Mears took a slight deflection and Oakley rifled in a shot that went under goalkeeper Brad Friedel and into the net.
Bentley almost pulled Blackburn level in the 33rd minute but Lewis Price did well to push his shot to safety.
Derby missed a great chance of extending their lead three minutes later when
they were awarded a penalty after Ryan Nelsen brought down Kenny Miller, but Howard saw his spot-kick blocked by Friedel and there was a brief melee when Eddie Lewis went in on the goalkeeper and was booked.
Blackburn drew level in the 38th minute with Santa Cruz's eighth goal in five games. He snapped up the rebound after Lewis had parried Benni McCarthy's shot following a cross from Bentley.
Blackburn then took the lead four minutes later with a blistering 25-yard drive from Bentley after he had evaded Claude Davis's challenge.
Oakley came close to pulling Derby level a minute before half-time but Friedel managed to get a hand to the ball at the last minute to turn it around the post.
Derby brought on Benny Feilhaber at half-time and he wasted little time in getting involved as he tested Friedel in the 49th minute with a shot from 20 yards.
Blackburn responded and Morten Gamst Pedersen cut inside a minute later but saw his effort blocked by Davis with McCarthy in a good position.
Blackburn stepped up the pressure and Tugay tried his luck from distance but his effort ended wide of the post.
Pedersen almost added a third for Blackburn on the hour, only for his curling free kick to finish the wrong side of the post.
Derby goalkeeper Price did well to tip over a header from Santa Cruz in the 74th minute as Blackburn attempted to finish the game off once and for all and a minute later Bentley was left frustrated after his effort came back off the post.
Derby boss Paul Jewell decided to give Jon Macken a run out in the 79th minute after recalling the striker from a loan spell at Barnsley.
He replaced Miller but they were unable to secure a point and relegation for the Rams still looks likely going into 2008.
|Derby County||Team Statistics||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||1st Half Goals||2|
|4||Shots on Target||8|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|