DONCASTER Rovers prepared for the Yorkshire derby at Leeds in fine style as they halted their slide down the Championship with a superb 3-1 win at woeful Derby County, writes Liam Hoden.
A clinical Billy Sharp proved too hot to handle for the Derby defence and scored twice with full back Joe Mills rounding Rovers’ first win in seven off in style before a late Paul Green goal eased Derby’s woes.
Derby were the better side for much of the first half with Ben Davies, Theo Robinson and Steven Davies all missing good chances.
Rovers’ stand–in keeper Gary Woods denied Ben Davies superbly with his legs midway through the half.
But four minutes from the break Sharp struck, latching onto a long punt down field, holding off his man and finishing in the far post.
Rovers emerged strong for the second half and were two up within three minutes.
A brilliant searching cross from John Oster found Sharp unmarked at the back post and he squeezed a downward header home.
Sharp has several opportunities to seal a hat trick, with a diving header from a Franck Moussa cross the most notable.
But Mills sealed the match, galloping from the left wing and drilling a low effort. Rams keeper Frank Fielding failed to deal with it and watched it cannon into the top corner.
Derby pushed for a way back in but slack play left them frustrated.
A Green cross evaded everyone and found the net in the final minute but it was too little, far too late.
*ROTHERHAM United fell out of the automatic promotion places after being held to a 1-1 draw at Torquay.
Ryan Taylor netted for the Millers while Adam Le Fondre missed a penalty.