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REPORT: Lacklustre Derby fall to Gary Rowett’s Millwall

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

The Rams battled hard in the second half but were condemned to defeat after Tom Bradshaw put Millwall in the lead.

The defeat put an end to Derby’s nine game unbeaten run at Pride Park, stemming all the way back to August.

However, before the game there was special tribute paid to former Rams boss Jim Smith, who tragically passed away on Tuesday. Many former players came back to help lay a wreath in the middle of the pitch for “bald eagle”, including Gary Rowett who played under Smith.

Derby started the game well and with attacking intent, but It wouldn’t last, as the home side looked limp following the opening stages and creating very few chances despite a wealth of possession.

Millwall looked well-structured in shape but lacked the final ball from deliveries early on. That was until they took the lead in the 24th minute. Bradshaw’s burst of pace found him between the Derby back-line, where the striker managed to flick the ball past Craig Forsyth and drilled the ball into the net.

The fantastic solo effort was the contributing nail in the Derby County coffin in the game, but the hosts weren’t down and out in the following half. A response seemed necessary following a dismal opening, a horrible trend for Phillip Cocu’s side so far, and they did just that. Tom Lawrence’s bursting run developed into a chance for Martyn Waghorn, who fired just wide of the target.

The Rams began to test opposing goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski in the second half. Waghorn’s strike from twenty yards forced the Polish shot-stopper into action, before he spilled the shot into the path of Martin who was eventually denied by a sturdy Millwall defence.

Bialkowski then made a vital stop as the Rams began to bombard the visitor’s goal from range. Jayden Bogle’s deflected cross looked destined for goal, but the Polish man stooped low to tip the ball past the post and denying Derby a way back in.

Cocu’s side continued to push for a leveller, but all three points went to Rowett and his well-drilled Millwall side.

Derby County: Hamer; Bogle, Davies (C), Forsyth (Jozefzoon 81), Lowe; Knight (Dowell 74), Evans; Waghorn, Holmes (Whittaker 88), Lawrence; Martin

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