The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

EYES ON PRIZE: Scott Dann, right, scores the sec­ond goal for Black­burn

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