We only had ten men..

.. and a fat lot of good it did us, a limp showing from the boys in Red led to defeat.

So yeah, I predicted one goal would settle it. Derby managed it with their sole effort on target – a half yard tap in for Bryson after good work down the right by Coutts and a decent ball into the box. There’s been a lot of ire directed at the referee, rightfully, but that shouldn’t distract from our own shortcomings.

I’m going to keep this brief as I’m on my phone, and I can’t be arsed. We weren’t at the races, a tame effort from Cohen and a last gap Gillett effort (which Fielding did well to save) were our only efforts on target. We didn’t create enough, and as seems to have become characteristic of this fixture, the visitors seemed to arrive with a more effective game plan and wanted it more.

Blackstock shouldn’t have been red carded for a fairly innocuous looking challenge, and quite how Buxton and Keogh consistently got away with GBH on him throughout the first half is something only the referee can answer. For me though our lack of threat was a result of our own lack of application, the referee – albeit atrocious – was a mere side story, one that ought to be followed up by the powers-that-be of course, but not one to distract us from how we need to improve.

Fielding had looked suspect on crosses – we didn’t subsequently put more crosses in, partly down to that perpetual problem with lack of wingers so there’s little chance to get the ball wide then in the box. Derby were largely industrial in their approach, but it was effective at stifling our game and once the referee handed them a one man advantage they took the chance they made.

That’s a few games of ineffectiveness now for the Reds – our early season ‘clicking’ perhaps took our opponents by surprise as much as it did many of us. Now it seems teams are finding it relatively easy to limit our Plan A, as yet we’ve not seemed to create a Plan B that looks like it could cause teams too many problems.

We might see an alternate approach on Wednesday – Blackstock is suspended, I’m assuming if we appeal the Football League will as ever ignore whatever evidence is submitted and stick by their incompetent official. Simon Cox is out too, after being booked for – get this – standing a bit near Fielding (who was time wasting). Coxy has picked up a LOT of bookings in his short time here though, it has to be said.

A very disappointing afternoon. It’s always a shit fixture to lose, and there’s usually always some handbags or cries of injustice but the most annoying thing is that we didn’t do more to control the game. Gillett had a decent game, and it was nice to see Cohen back, but well, there’s a whole lot of cloud and not much silver lining from where I’m standing.

Blackburn aren’t going to be pushovers in Wednesday either. I hope fans and owners alike aren’t going to start getting silly with regard to Sean O’Driscoll – patience is needed by all concerned as he works with the squad to get our results back on track.

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