Theo Robinson’s 88th minute strike sealed the Rams a well-earned point at Pride Park Stadium this afternoon as Derby fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers.
Jordan Rhodes’ first-half volley sent the visitors in at the break a goal ahead, but a second 45 minutes of heavy pressure from the Rams resulted in Robinson’s block buster finish, that stretches Derby’s unbeaten run to four games.
It was a relatively quiet opening 20 minutes at Pride Park, as both sides struggled to gain any sort of momentum following the 14-day international break.
However, it was the Rams who were first to show their attacking intent, as former Wigan Athletic forward Conor Sammon’s devilish ball across the face of goal was side footed agonisingly wide by strike-partner Theo Robinson.
Rovers’ first effort of the game arrived in the 21st minute when Morten Gamst Pederson’s pinpoint delivery was met by the towering head of Scott Dann, who forced a terrific reflex save from Rams goalkeeper Adam Legzdins
Neither side took a stronghold of the game as chances began to flow at both ends. Jake Buxton’s eight yard header was turned behind by a combination of defender and former England international goalkeeper Paul Robinson, whilst Theo Robinson flashed a near post header over from the resulting corner.
Then shortly after the 30 minute mark, Legzdins was called into action as the former Burton Albion goalkeeper was at full stretch to tip Pederson’s 25-yard curling free-kick past the post.
However just seconds later, Rovers’ £8 million striker proved clinical, as Rhodes swivelled on the edge of the penalty area and drilled a low volley into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of ‘keeper Legzdins.
Rovers steamrollered out of the blocks in the second half, as with just 38 seconds gone Pederson fired a warning shot narrowly wide from a tight angle.
But it did not take long for the Rams to find their feet. Firstly, Craig Bryson turned Jeff Hendrick’s low cross over from eight yards out, before the Scot fired over from 20-yards following Will Hughes’ determined challenge.
The Rams continued in search of an elusive equaliser, and the home supporters thought they had one when Paul Coutts sent a curling effort goal-wards, but unfortunately, the former Preston North End midfielder’s effort landed on the roof of the Blackburn net.
Centre-backs Dann and Buxton both saw headers flash past the post whilst in the final seven minutes substitute Michael Jacobs’ deflected free-kick dropped inches wide of goal with ‘keeper Robinson watching on.
Urged on by the home crowd the Rams drove forward in numbers, and Robinson was once again called into action as Nathan Tyson cut inside and sent a fierce left-footed effort towards the bottom corner.
And in the 88th minute the Rams’ endeavour was finally rewarded. Jacobs’ low cross was met by Bryson who fired low at effort at goal that forced Robinson into another terrific stop. However, the chance wasn’t over, as Theo Robinson latched onto the loose ball and via the chest of the Rovers’ goalkeeper, the ball ended up in the back of the net to secure a hard-fought point at Pride Park.
Derby County: Legzdins (GK); Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O’Connor (Tyson 83); Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes; Robinson, Sammon (Jacobs 75).
Subs Not Used: Deeney (GK), Freeman, Bennett, Gjokaj, O’Brien.
Blackburn Rovers: Robinson (GK); Orr, Givet, Dann, Olsson; Lowe, Dunn (Formica 67), Etuhu, Pederson; Kazim-Richards, Rhodes.
Subs Not Used: Kean (GK), Murphy, Gomes, Rochina, Hanley, Ribeiro.
Attendance: 22,958 (1,447 Visiting Supporters).