Match report: Doncaster 0 Derby County 2

Doncaster Rovers' Billy Sharp fails to connect and a chance goes begging against Derby .
Doncaster Rovers' Billy Sharp fails to connect and a chance goes begging against Derby .
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Rovers face a daunting trip into the Lions’ Den on Monday after they were Ram-raided by promotion chasing Derby County.

And they better hope history is not about to repeat itself.

Derby County's Chris Martin celebrates after scoring his sides second goal of the game against Doncaster Rovers.

Derby County's Chris Martin celebrates after scoring his sides second goal of the game against Doncaster Rovers.

Two years ago, in mid-March, Rovers lost 2-1 at home to Derby. Three days later a 3-0 defeat to Millwall opened their relegation coffin.

After battling bravely against Steve McClaren’s high fliers, but again ending up with nothing, Doncaster now dare not lose again to Millwall - or they will be in serious danger of dropping through the trapdoor again.

Goals from George Thorne and Chris Martin inflicted Rovers’ fourth straight defeat. It was another brave effort from Rovers - but sadly just not good enough against the ruthless Rams.

The home side were almost gifted the lead in the fourth minute, Richard Keogh’s back pass caught Lee Grant unawares and forced Derby’s keeper to scamper back and clear it off the line.

Chris Brown goes close with a header

Chris Brown goes close with a header

Goalmouth incident proved few and far between before the break but Dickov would have taken plenty of satisfaction from his team’s work without the ball and the way they restricted the Rams.

County were enjoying the bulk of possession but chances were at a premium as David Cotterill fired over from distance, while at the other end Sam Johnstone had to tip over Chris Martin’s header.

Doncaster were happy to play on the break, and it almost paid dividends when Gabi Tamas countered down the right and crossed for Chris Brown, whose header was diverted over by Grant. The same duo then combined again, but Brown’s header from Tamas’ first time cross was straight at Grant.

Rovers had enjoyed the better of the chances but on the stroke of half time a moment of quality gave Derby a scarcely deserved lead, the ball teed up on the edge of the box for Thorne whose cultured finish from 25-yards nestled in the corner.

Doncaster Rover's James Coppinger (left) and Derby County's George Thorne (right) battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 18, 2014. See PA Story SOCCER Doncaster. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Doncaster Rover's James Coppinger (left) and Derby County's George Thorne (right) battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 18, 2014. See PA Story SOCCER Doncaster. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Rovers knew they had to gamble more after the break and there was a danger that would suit Derby. Andre Wisdom flashed an effort just wide, before Johnstone made a vital save, denying Craig Bryson who was sent clear by Thorne.

Billy Sharp was having an off night and shortly before getting the hook his night was rather summed up when he fell over trying to help Cotterill’s long range effort towards goal.

Tamas went close with a header, and Cotterill not so close from distance as Doncaster appeared to be running out of ideas.

Substitutes Mark Duffy and Theo Robinson then combined, only for the latter’s effort to be blocked by Grant.

And moments later the game was up when Martin connected with Ward’s cross to seal his side’s win and set up a genuine six-pointer for Rovers at Millwall.