The reverse meeting between these teams saw Rovers escape with a fortuitous point. And as they piled on the pressure in the second half, they may have felt it was going to be a re-run of the Pride Park meeting, but in reverse, as chances continued to be squandered.

Joe Rothwell will have wondered more than most how he hadn’t opened the scoring before eventually netting 15 minutes from time with a composed finish.

That was his first for the club since his summer move, and in truth Rovers were good value for a win which should calm a few nerves after just one win in 11 prior to this.

In truth, this was a mauling, with Rovers getting the second goal their dominance deserve as Bradley Dack scored his 16th of the season in the dying stages.

A Rovers side showing more energy and snap out of possession began to press play-off chasing Derby from the opening stages.

Craig Conway, one of five players recalled to the side, whipped in a corner which Darragh Lenihan headed straight at Kelle Roos before pass of the half from Rothwell freed Danny Graham, but from a tight angle, he could only find the side netting.

Rovers were taking charge, as they continued to spring in to life from their organised shape out of possession, as Rothwell curled just wide of the target.

Conway was getting acres of room down the Rovers right as he continued to trouble Ashely Cole.

Their good work was almost undone however, as they nearly gifted the visitors the opening goal. Lewis Travis gave the ball away cheaply to former Rovers loanee Tom Lawrence who picked out an unmarked Harry Wilson. He let Rovers off though with a shot which could only find the side netting.

And Rovers, applauded off at the break by a home support who were encouraged by what they saw, finished the half strong. Conway forced a good save out of Roos with a well-hit shot from 25 yards, before Amari’i Bell saw his effort tipped wide as Rovers pounced on more loose play from Derby.

From the resulting corner, Derrick Williams’ snap-shot flew just wide before Richard Keogh made an excellent block to ensure Graham’s shot from Dack’s pass didn’t reach its intended target.

Rovers were being roared on by the home crowd as they went in search of an opener which their play deserved early in the second half. Dack was getting more in to the game, but couldn’t find the right connection to a Conway cross.

They couldn’t quite force the ball home from a series of corners and set plays but would go even closer midway through the half. Reed anticipated the ball to drive forward down the right and he crossed for Rothwell whose goalbound effort was well blocked by Jayden Bogle with the net gaping.

Then came an even better chance, as Lenihan glanced wide a Conway cross when anything on target would have found the back of the net.

As play continued to be played in the Derby half the opportunities kept coming, but kept being squandered.

An intelligent cushioned pass from Dack set Rothwell free in to the box, but he lacked composure as his right foot shot sailed over from eight yards.

It was Frank Lampard who was having to make changes, all three substitutions sent on with almost 20 minutes to play.

But the goal Rovers had threatened all half arrived with 15 minutes to play.

Rothwell was slightly fortunate in the way he was able to race on to the loose ball, but when clean through, didn’t look like a man looking for his first Rovers goal as his intelligent flick over the keeper found the far corner.

That was almost his final involvement, as he received a standing ovation following his departure following a knock.

His replacement, Adam Armstrong missed a good chance, blazing over from 18 yards after some terrier like work off the ball from Dack before Travis had a shot cleared off the line.

But Rovers made their dominance count when a second goal arrived in the dying seconds as Dack turned in from close range as Tony Mowbray’s men reached the 50-points mark.