Aug 4, 2013 at 4pm UK at ​Pride Park
DerbyDerby County
1-1
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Russell (43' pen.)
Coutts (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Best (89')
Best (45'), Kane (60')

Live Commentary: Derby County 1-1 Blackburn Rovers - as it happened

Live Commentary: Derby 1-1 Blackburn - as it happened
© Getty Images
Read how Derby County and Blackburn Rovers played out a 1-1 draw in the final Championship game of the opening weekend.

In the final Championship match of the opening weekend, two of the Football League's founding members faced off.

Derby County welcomed Blackburn Rovers and both sides left with a point because of Leon Best's fine late equaliser for the visitors.

Read how it all unfolded at Pride Park in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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3.01pmGood afternoon all! 22 of the 24 teams have played their first hand of the new Championship season and it's just Derby and Blackburn left this afternoon. Kickoff in just under an hour.

3.04pmTeam news is just filtering out of Pride Park so I'll waste no time in bringing it to you...

3.05pmDERBY XI: Grant; Freeman, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes, Ward; Martin, Russell

3.06pmROVERS XI: Kean; Kane, Dann, Hanley, Spurr; Judge, Lowe, Marrow, King; Rochina; Rhodes

3.09pmPlenty of new faces on show for both sides then. For Derby, keeper Lee Grant makes his first appearance for the club that he played for between 2000-07. Up front for the hosts, it's a completely new strike force with Chris Martin and Johnny Russell. Martin appeared in a white shirt last season on loan from Norwich but has since made his move permanent. For Russell, this is a proper debut for the Rams.

3.11pmRovers, meanwhile, welcome Tommy Spurr and Alan Judge into their starting lineup. Spurr only joined at the end of last week and goes straight into the side at left-back.

3.16pmThe first 11 fixtures of the new Championship season took place yesterday. To see all of them and find links to match reports, click here.

3.18pmAs it stands, Wigan top the table because of their 4-0 demolition of 10-man Barnsley.

3.19pmIn fact, all three relegated sides picked up wins yesterday, with QPR and Reading both coming from a goal down to see off Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich respectively.

3.21pmAs for the three promoted clubs, it was two wins and a loss. Doncaster were beaten by Blackpool but Bournemouth and this season's favourites for relegation, Yeovil, got off to a winning start.

3.23pmSUBS: Here are the benches for today's game:

Derby: Legzdins, Sammon, Coutts, Smith, Eustace, Davies, Jacobs
Blackburn: Dunn, Best, Eastwood, Olsson, Taylor, Givet, Cairney

3.25pmAs you can see from this Vine from Derby, it's still pretty quiet inside Pride Park. We're expecting a classic, opening-day raucous atmosphere though.


3.30pmPREDICTION TIME! With half an hour to go, it's time for my prediction on the match. I see this one being a low-scoring affair and am going to plump for 1-1. Jordan Rhodes to score the first.

3.34pmAs mentioned above, this is the sixth and last 'anniversary' match to celebrate 125 years of the Football League.


3.38pmIf you fancy a bit of pre-match video, check out this clip produced by the Football League:


3.42pmH2H: In the two league games between these two last year, it was Blackburn who did better by winning one and drawing one. They also met in the FA Cup where Blackburn won 3-0. One thing to note, Rhodes scored in all three games.

3.46pmThe two clubs present today demonstrate completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of management. Derby boss Nigel Clough is the longest-serving manager in the league while Gary Bowyer has been given a chance to take the job at Blackburn permanently after FIVE changes at the helm during last year.

3.49pmBlackburn's injured goalkeeper Paul Robinson is a guest for Sky Sports and he's just said that all those changes did affect the morale of the camp last season. He's hoping for a much more stable season that will result in a high finish.

3.51pmRAIN! On the pitch at the moment there are commemorative plaques being presented to both sides and it's tipping it down! Proper footy weather.

3.55pmJust FIVE minutes to go until we get underway at Pride Park. Remember, I've predicted a 1-1 draw with Rhodes to score for the visitors. That would be my cheeky tip if you're thinking of putting a bet on.

3.57pmHere come both sides out of the tunnel to a fantastic atmosphere. The captains are holding the balls shown below as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations.


3.59pmDerby are in their home colours of white-black-white while Blackburn's away strip this year is all-red.

0 minKICKOFF! The white shirts off Derby get us underway.

2 min

4 minCHANCE! First opportunity of the match goes Blackburn's way. Spurr delivers a teasing cross that Rhodes can't direct goalwards under pressure from Keogh. The ball drops to Rochina but he can't prod it goalwards with the ball stuck under him a little.

6 minThe playing surface at Pride Park is just lovely and with that heavy shower soon before kickoff, the ball is really zipping around. Both sides looking to show off slick passing in the early stages.

8 minHanley outmuscles Martin to win the ball before bursting forward and slipping a through-ball into Rhodes. The prolific striker was a little slow onto the ball and that allowed Grant to just nick the ball ahead of him.

12 minHughes's pass into Forsyth is a little behind the midfielder, but it runs for Ward charging up the right flank. The number 10's shot is well-hit but also well-blocked by Spurr.

14 minJUST WIDE! Blackburn come within inches of taking the lead! Some neat passing in midfield releases Rochina at the Rams' defence and he picks out Judge on the left. The new signing takes a little while getting the ball out of his feet but when he does his curled effort flashes just wide of the far post.

16 minToday's referee is Stuart Attwell and he makes the right decision to allow Blackburn to play on after a poor challenge from Forsyth. He goes back and has a word with the Derby man and could have easily booked him, but decides not to.

19 minGood covering challenge from Dann after Ward had blocked Kane's pass and set off on a run down the left. It's nice to see both teams taking advantage of the fine surface by playing it on the deck.

21 minLovely dinked reverse pass from Hughes picks out the run of Ward. It just skids off the surface a bit too far and Kean's position makes it impossible for Ward to do much from a tight angle. Probably Derby's best opening of the match.

22 minFreeman is next to have a go for Derby, having a pop with his weaker left foot. It's well-hit but straight at Kean.

23 minOFF THE LINE! The six-yard box is jam-packed for Rochina's corner and he delivers it perfectly for Rhodes. The striker's header is a good, firm one towards the ground and the only reason Blackburn aren't one-nil up is because it hits the hip of Forsyth cowering away from the ball on the line.

27 minAgain Attwell decides not to caution after a poor challenge. This time it's Blackburn's Kane who slides in on Ward. I'm all for leniency, but that was not pretty and should have been yellow.

30 minDown one end Rhodes looks threatening once more but it's Derby who carve out an opportunity. Hughes found himself in the box and clipped towards Russell at the back post. The new Ram had to check his run and couldn't arc his neck enough to turn his header goalwards.

31 minAgain Hughes is at the heart of things for Derby. This time he feeds Ward who uses his pace on the left to beat his man before firing low across goal, with Hanley able to clear ahead of Martin.

33 minFree kick right on the edge of the box for Blackburn. Judge and Rochina are interested. Big chance...

34 minRochina goes for the piledriver and smacks it straight into the wall. Poor.

4.36pmIMAGE! Here's Hendrick and Marrow battling for the ball:

Derby's Jeff Hendrick and Blackburn Alex Marrow battle for the ball on August 4, 2013© Getty Images

36 minRochina's afternoon is over. He took a passing hit to the shoulder and looks as if his it has popped out of its socket. Leon Best ready to come on.

38 minThere's paramedics attending to the Spaniard, who looks to be receiving oxygen or laughing gas to ease the pain or calm the panic. It's a shame because he had started very well and was involved in all of Blackburn's forays forward.

39 minBLACKBURN SUB: Best's introduction should see Blackburn move to more of a 4-4-2 as opposed to the 4-4-1-1 before.

41 minSHOT! Lowe wins the ball but then slices his shot wide with plenty of help either side. The academy graduate has never scored for Rovers.

42 minPENALTY TO DERBY! Marrow is adjudged to have handled.

43 minRussell to take...

43 minGOAL! Derby 1-0 Blackburn (Russell pen.)

43 minHe's hardly been in the game, Derby's new striker, but he gives them the lead by sending Kean the wrong way from 12 yards. It was a clear penalty as Marrow carelessly threw his arm back when a high free kick was sent into the box.

45 minSIX minutes of added time are indicated because of that dislocated shoulder suffered by Rochina.

45+4 minBOOKING! Best is cautioned for a flailing arm when going up for a high ball. Completely unnecessary, just like Marrow's a minute ago to concede the penalty.

45+6 minSAVE! Brilliant one-handed stop from Kean to keep it at just one. Martin skipped past one challenge and instead of passing to the numerous teammates around, he goes for goal. It's a great strike with his left and is destined for the near corner until Kean turns it away.

45+7 minHALF TIME: Derby 1-0 Blackburn

4.55pmIt's the home side who lead at the break thanks to new boy Russell's penalty. Blackburn had had the better chances but the stoppage for Rochina's injury seemed to halt their dominance.

4.58pmIMAGE! Here's Russell making no mistake from 12 yards in the 43rd minute:

Derby's Johnny Russell scores the opener from the penalty spot during the match against Blackburn on August 4, 2013© Getty Images

5.01pmYou have to say that if Blackburn can regain their focus then they should be able to score here. Rhodes is always a threat and although their most creative spark in Rochina has left the field, Best is a good replacement. On the right, former Manchester United man King has been very quiet.

5.05pmLooking at the stats from the opening half, Blackburn must improve their accuracy on goal. PA are saying that the visitors didn't register a shot on target, but Rhodes's point-blank header was definitely cleared off the line.

46 minKICKOFF! We're back underway at Pride Park. No changes from either side.

46 minCLOSE! Blackburn almost equalise straight away! A shot from King bounces up and Best is there to head it goalwards. He doesn't make good contact though and the ball loops up towards the top corner where a combination of Grant and the crossbar keep it out.

49 minCHANCE! End-to-end start to the second half. Derby almost double their lead as some suicidal defending from Kane gifts Russell the ball. He doesn't take it in his stride too well though and his shot is scuffed across goal allowing Blackburn to clear.

52 minKane is having a nightmare out there at the moment. This time he's outmuscled by the miniature Ward on the left touchline. He tracks back to prevent Ward driving into the box and the ball is laid to Hughes. The teenager digs out a cross that Russell meets at the back post, but his header is a little tame and an easy gather for Kean.

55 minSpurr clips the ankles of Hendrick on the right. The newest Rover has impressed me greatly at left-back today. He seems more than happy to get forward, which is great to see in a full-back.

57 min

57 minThat's David Dunn, of course. We all know what he's most famous for...


60 minYELLOW! Kane is booked for persistent fouling and it's about time. The Chelsea loanee should have seen yellow in the first half for a nasty lunge on Ward.

60 minOFF THE POST! Best comes within centimetres of pulling Derby level. Spurr made another fine run down the left and crossed low for the substitute who couldn't quite wrap his foot around it on the slide.

61 minSAVE! There are said to be a number of Premier League scouts in attendance today to watch Derby teenager Hughes and he's just shown why. He danced past several challenges in the area before teeing up Keogh whose shot is tipped over the bar by Kean.

63 minSUBS: Both sides make a change, with Derby bringing on Paul Coutts for goalscorer Russell while Chris Taylor is on to replace King for Blackburn.

68 minInto the final quarter of this match we go. It's got a little feisty out there in the last few minutes. Can Blackburn find an equaliser? Derby look happy to see out a 1-0 win.

69 minFine turn from Best sees him lose his man and have a run at goal. He's not the quickest though and the Derby defence were able to get back and put him off as he shot at goal. Grant making a comfortable save.

70 minAs well as getting forward regularly, Spurr also has a mighty long throw. He hoists one into the box that Hanley flicks towards goal. If it had been either side of Grant it was a goal, but fortunately for Derby it flashes into his hands.

74 minAnother Spurr cross from the left is blocked by both hands by Coutts. Rovers free-kick out near the touchline...

75 minIt's a vicious delivery from Judge that goes over goalkeeper Grant but luckily there's cover behind him to head clear. Bryson tries to sprint clear on the break but he's well tackled. Clough wants a foul but the ball was taken there.

76 minLowe shoots from 20 yards but Grant is there to make the save down low to his left.

77 minBLACKBURN SUB: The man who gave away the penalty, Marrow, is off for the visitors, with Tom Cairney on in his place.

80 minJust 10 minutes of normal time left at Pride Park. Before the match I predicted a low-scoring affair and that's come to fruition. Blackburn are having more of the ball as they push for an equaliser but since Rochina was forced off they haven't looked quite the same going forward.

81 minDERBY SUB: It's youth off for experience as 18-year-old Hughes comes off for new signing John Eustace, 33.

82 minBig appeal for a penalty from Blackburn! Best got up well to win the initial header and flick it on to strike partner Rhodes, who took it down well and was bundled over by Buxton. It may have been slightly soft but I've definitely seen them given.

84 minDERBY SUB: Clough makes his final change as Martin is replaced by Connor Sammon up top.

85 min

89 minGOAL! Derby 1-1 Blackburn (Best)

89 minHeartbreak for Derby! You have to say that Blackburn deserve it though. It's two substitutes who combine as Taylor whips over a great cross from the right that Best volleys on the spin past Grant. Superb finish.

90 minFIVE minutes added on at the end. Can either side find a winner?

90+1 min

90+3 minAs Best shoots miles over, let me just mention that Coutts was booked a minute before the goal.

90+6 minFULL TIME: Derby 1-1 Blackburn

5.59pmWith basically the last kick of the game, Rhodes was scythed down in the middle of the box but he didn't nick the ball and I don't think it was a penalty.

6pmDerby hot prospect Hughes tells Sky Sports News that the feeling is disappointment as they surrendered a lead. Blackburn's goalscorer Best is also being interviewed and he says he's delighted to have scored but was gutted not to start today.

6.02pmIt's likely that Best will get his wish to start in the next few games as Rochina, who kept him out of the team, went off with a dislocated shoulder.

6.04pmWith that game done and dusted, the first round of fixtures in the Championship is all done. Click here to see the table. Wigan on top, Barnsley at the bottom after yesterday's 4-0 rout at Oakwell.

6.06pmI had a horrible season of predicting results last year but I got it right today by guessing 1-1. Long may that continue!

6.08pmThat's all we've got time for. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for coverage. Look out for reaction and analysis from Pride Park, as well as our Championship team of the week which will be online a little later this evening.

Derby manager Nigel Clough on the touchline during the match against Forest on January 19, 2013
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