Apr 18, 2014 at 7.30pm UK at ​The Keepmoat Stadium
DoncasterDoncaster Rovers
DerbyDerby County

Quinn (64'), de Val (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Thorne (45'), Martin (79')
Bryson (19'), Martin (70')

Half-Time Report: George Thorne fires Derby County ahead at Doncaster Rovers

George Thorne of West Bromwich Albion looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Reading and West Bromwich Albion at the Madejski Stadium on January 12, 2013
© Getty Images
George Thorne scores in first-half stoppage time to give promotion outsiders Derby County a 1-0 lead over Doncaster Rovers after 45 minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium.

George Thorne struck on the stroke of half time to give automatic promotion outsiders Derby Counter a 1-0 half-time lead over Doncaster Rovers tonight.

Burnley's 1-0 victory over Blackpool earlier this evening means that the Rams need to win at the Keepmoat Stadium to stand any chance of securing an unlikely top-two finish and a return to the Premier League.

Things nearly started disastrously for Steve McLaren's men when Lee Grant slipped while trying to collect Richard Keogh's back-pass, only to recover quickly enough to stop the ball before the goalline.

However, it did not take long for the Championship's second most prolific scorers to pose a threat themselves as Patrick Bamford teed up Craig Bryson for a low shot which was well blocked.

This is also an important match for Doncaster, though, with Paul Dickov's side in need of wins to take them clear of the relegation zone, which currently sits three places and three points below them.

They were largely forced to play on the counter-attack, but had probably the best opportunity of an opening 40 minutes in which chances were few and far between, with Chris Brown going close.

James Coppinger controlled David Cotterill's 60-yard crossfield pass and delivered for striker Brown, who powered a header towards the roof of the net, only for Grant to tip over the crossbar.

Just as it appeared as though Doncaster would make it to the interval with deserved parity, Thorne's measured strike, following a layoff from Will Hughes, found the bottom corner in stoppage time.

It is the midfielder's first goal for Derby since joining on loan from West Bromwich Albion.

Manager of Derby County Steve McClaren looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at Pride Park Stadium on October 05, 2013
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