JET-SET GARY’S STAYING RELAXED
handed the Rams an equaliser before the half-hour but he recovered well to block Jamie Ward’s shot after failing to chip the Derby winger.
And he saved Rovers again minutes later, saving well to keep out Chris Martin’s powerful header from Ward’s cross.
But Rovers doubled their lead in first-half stoppagetime, captain Dann heading in at the back post from David Jones’ corner.
Rhodes came close to sealing the points after the hour, latching onto Sandomierski’s long ball but firing straight at Frank Fielding under pressure from Craig Forsyth.
Derby appealed for a penalty with five minutes remaining but Andy Haines refused to blow after Ben Davies went down under Morten Gamst Pedersen’s challenge.
And the visitors continued to press for a goal but Davies’ shot straight at the keeper in stoppage-time was as close as they came.
Derby manager Nigel Clough bemoaned a lack of cutting-edge from his side and questioned the timing of Dann’s first-half stoppagetime header.
“We certainly paid for our failures in both penalty areas,” said Clough.
“We spent the last couple of days chatting about keeping Blackburn quiet and maybe the crowd getting restless.
“To give a penalty away as we did was very amateurish, then we conceded the killer second.
“The official put a minute up and I think it was two minutes 25 seconds when Blackburn scored. We just wondered what happened to make him add 25 seconds – we didn’t see a stoppage.
“The penalty on Davies looked pretty blatant, if that was given you never know what could happen – it would’ve been a nervy situation.
“Our chance in stoppagetime epitomised us, we could have played another hour and not scored.
“No-one can set a target for safety but we think we’re OK at 54 points, as long as we don’t lose the next four.”
EYES ON PRIZE: Scott Dann, right, scores the second goal for Blackburn