Craig Conway scored from the spot to give Blackburn a crucial three points and to further compound Derby’s frustrating run of form.
It was the Rams who started the better in terms of chances, the biggest of which came through Tom Ince. After a David Nugent lay off, Ince sent a curling left footed narrowly wide of the far post. He then came close again minutes later when a good move ended with Will Hughes finding Ince who’s powerful effort was saved by Steele.
The hosts then had a ten minute spell of dominance towards the end of the half. Their best opportunity came when Scott Carson saved brilliantly from a Danny Guthrie effort before Marvin Emnes blasted over from eight yards with the goal gaping. Rovers, who were playing their first home game under new boss Tony Mowbray, continued to cause Derby problems and forced Carson into a couple more saves before the break but the away side held on to go in level.
Blackburn continued to be the stronger of the two sides in the second half and got their reward on the hour. After a poor cross, Derby skipper Alex Pearce made a poor attempt to clear, fouling Rovers striker Sam Gallagher in the area, leaving the referee no choice but to give a penalty. Craig Conway stepped up and smashed past Carson to give his side a deserved lead.
The Rams responded with two changes as Matej Vydra and Abdoul Camara replaced Will Hughes and Johnny Russell. They almost drew level with fifteen minutes to go but the hosts put bodies on the line to block efforts from David Nugent and then Bradley Johnson.
After relatively constant pressure, they should’ve equalised. Substitute Vydra went on a great run before finding Ince who fluffed his lines inside the box. The Rams then came close again, this time a Julien de Sart cross from the left fell onto the head of Bradley Johnson who’s header dipped onto the bar.
Blackburn held on for three vital points in their battle against relegation to League One. It was the same story for Derby, they gave their all but didn’t quite have the composure or quality to stop their winless run being extended to six league games. They are also now more than 300 minutes without a goal.
Derby striker David Nugent speaking post match:
Derby boss Steve McClaren speaking post match: