Mark Whittle puts the scores on the doors from Rovers’ victory over Derby County…
Note: The players are rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
Thomas Kaminski 7
I think it showed why he must be Rovers’ player of the season. Was there when needed yet again. Made crucial saves from Sibley, Lawrence and a Kazim-Richards header late on. He went a bit more direct with his distribution at times than his usual playing out from the back. Rovers’ most reliable player all season.
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Ryan Nyambe 6
Mixed evening for the right back. He went completely missing for Derby’s goal as Harwood-Bellis had to come chasing the cross down from his side and was nowhere to be as Lawrence scored with a free header. Made up for that by winning a corner by his pure persistence from a ball that never looked like being his. It was crucial as it led to the Rovers equaliser that never seemed likely after a poor first-half. Heart in mouth moment at the death as Nyambe went to ground that could have seen Derby get a last gasp penalty!
Taylor Harwood-Bellis 8 (MAN OF THE MATCH)
Colossal performance from the City loanee. Defended well and he seemed to win everything Derby through at him. He led the Rovers backline with a mature and assured performance. He really stepped up in Lenihan’s absence. The run of matches has been a real positive for him and it shows.
Jarrad Branthwaite 6
Slotted in for the injured Lenihan and defended reasonably well. Like most of Rovers’ backline, played a bit more direct rather than the usual playing out from the back which probably suited his game more. It was his first start since the end of February, but he established himself and played a part in keeping Derby at bay alongside THB.
Barry Douglas 6
A lot of Derby’s good play came down his side of the pitch in the first half, but he held firm. It was from his superb delivery from a corner that led to a rare Rovers goal from a set-piece as Gallagher headed home to equalise
Lewis Travis 5
The Rovers midfield three was poor for much of the game. Too many times they were overrun, not winning second balls, and sitting back too deep. Derby’s Shinnie got the best of him for large parts. Not vintage Travis, but he dug deep in the final minutes to help protect the lead and see out a much needed and valuable three points.
Bradley Johnson 4
A poor evening for the midfield three, especially in the first half. Too many times Derby had the upper hand in the middle of the park. Johnson has looked a bit off the pace in recent weeks. He was sloppy in possession and again committed one or two needless fouls because of that.
Lewis Holtby 4
Holtby really struggled to get into the game. Totally off the pace. Picked up a booking in the first half. Eventually made way for Rothwell just before the hour mark to end a poor evening for him.
Sam Gallagher 7
Kept on battling and working hard for the team even when it was not coming off for him. Tried to support Armstrong as much as possible and competed in ariel duals. Scored a fine header from Douglas’ corner that led to a Rovers comeback.
Harvey Elliott 7
He was quiet for his standards in the early parts as Rovers struggled to get a foot hold. He grew into the match as it went on and is always a threat. He can produce that bit of quality when needed and that is exactly what he did with brilliant foot work and finish which proved to be the winning goal and eased a few nerves.
Adam Armstrong 6
He was left completely isolated in a first half that Rovers spent much of it in their own half. A much improved second half team performance got Armstrong more in the match as Rovers pushed more up the pitch. He could easily have had a hat-trick in the second half had it not been for Derby’s Marshall thwarting him on several occasions.
Joe Rothwell (on 73 mins, replacing Lewis Holtby) 7
He made a much-needed impact when he came on and started to find Armstrong in behind with some defence splitting passes. Put himself about and made vital interceptions as well. His introduction should have probably happened sooner.
Ben Brereton (on 83 mins, replacing Sam Gallagher) N/A
Elliott Bennett (on 83 mins, replacing Harvey Elliott) N/A
Corry Evans (on 87 mins, replacing Adam Armstrong) N/A
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