29102022 Derby Rovers Match Report

Defeat at Pride Park for the Gas.

A David McGoldrick hat-trick ended Rovers' eight-game unbeaten run as Derby ran out 4-2 winners at Pride Park.

Joey Barton made two changes to the line-up for the game, after Ryan Loft and Lewis Gibson failed to recover from injuries picked up on Wednesday night in Sheffield. Hoole and McCormick came into the starting line-up, with Westbrooke, Kilgour and Saunders returning to the bench.


An early Derby goal left Rovers facing an uphill challenge. There were only five minutes on the clock when Mendez-Laing intercepted Gibbons' pass to Hoole, and he fed McGoldrick to fire home the opener.

The hosts doubled their lead after just 12 minutes, when Collins ghosted in at the far post to tap home from a corner.

There was controversy in the 18th minute when Aaron Collins raced onto a Belshaw clearance and was adjudged to have fouled Smith, but a free-kick was instead awarded against the Welshman. Collins then looked to divert an Evans cross-shot goalwards in the 21st minute but just failed to connect.

Minutes later, McGoldrick lashed home an unstoppable shot from inside the area as the Rams punished more hesitant Rovers defending.

Sam Finley brought a save from Wildsmith after having to push referee Coy out of the way, before Mendez-Laing wasted a chance to put the game to bed after just half an hour, blazing over from the edge of the box.

The game's first caution arrived after 34 minutes, when Finley was caught by a late tackle from Hourihane. From the free-kick, the Gas grabbed a lifeline. Bobby Thomas headed across goal from McCormick's delivery, where Coburn headed goalwards. Derby cleared off the line but Thomas was there to smash home into the roof of the net.


The centre-back's joy didn't last long as McGoldrick robbed him on the deadball line and curled a wicked shot from a tight angle past Belshaw to put the home side 4-1 up.

Collins ran at the home defence as the half drew to a close and played in Coburn. The striker was upended to give Antony Evans the chance to reduce the arrears from the spot. He duly did so and Rovers went into the interval just two goals down.


Coburn was caught offside as Rovers looked to make a fast start to the second half. 

Derby went up the other end and won a corner after 50 minutes after Collins' shot was deflected behind. 

Sam Finley then almost gifted the Rams a fifth when passing straight to McGoldrick. The striker rounded Belshaw but the midfielder blocked his shot to make amends. 

Joey Barton had seen enough and made three changes in the 56th minute, as Conolly, Clarke and Sinclair replaced McCormick, Hoole and Gordon.


Connolly was straight in the action, advancing and sliding a lovely ball to Clarke, whose control let him down. Sinclair then jinked his way past several Derby challenges before forcing a diving save from Wildsmith. From the corner, Finley fired well over the bar. The introduction of Sinclair and Connolly was making the Gas a different proposition in the second half. 

Coburn raced clear in the 70th minute but, with Collins crying out for a square ball, the striker tried to loft Wildsmith and got his angles wrong. Rovers enjoyed large spells of possession, and Derby picked up a few yellows for time-wasting, but the Gas couldn't find that third goal to make the closing stages a nervous one for the hosts. 

McGoldrick added a yellow to his first career hat-trick for a late challenge on Clarke, resulting in a second game in succession where a Rovers substitute had to be substituted. 

Next up for Rovers is the Emirates FA Cup tie with Rochdale at The Memorial Stadium on Saturday November 5th, kick-off 3pm.

DERBY COUNTY: Wildsmith, Forsyth, Hourihane, Cashin, Bird (c), Collins, McGoldrick, Mendez-Laing, Smith, Roberts, Dobbin.

Substitutes: Loach, Thompson, Sibley, Stearman, Osula, Oduroh, Rooney.

BRISTOL ROVERS: Belshaw, Gibbons, Hoole, Thomas, Gordon, Finley, Evans, Rossiter, McCormick, Coburn, Collins.

Substitutes: Jaakkola, Westbrooke, Kilgour, Saunders, Connolly, Clarke, Sinclair.

Attendance: 27,841 (3,100 away fans)

Referee: Martin Coy

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