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Conway penalty sees struggling Blackburn defeat Derby

Blackburn’s Craig Conway has scored three league goals this season

Blackburn Rovers boosted their Championship survival chances with a gutsy 1-0 victory over Derby County who are now winless in six league games.

Craig Conway scored the only goal of the night when he smashed home a 58th-minute penalty after Sam Gallagher was brought down by Alex Pearce.

Striker Marvin Emnes should have put Rovers ahead before the break but blasted over with the goal gaping.

Bradley Johnson almost equalised late on but his header hit the bar.

Victory for Tony Mowbray in his first home game since taking over from Owen Coyle sees Blackburn move level on points with Bristol City in 21st, who lost at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

However, they remain in the relegation zone with an inferior goal difference.

The win was no more than Rovers deserved against an out-of-sorts Rams whose play-off hopes appear to be over.

Steve McClaren’s side failed to win in February, losing four of their six matches this month, and are 10 points behind Sheffield Wednesday in sixth.

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray:

“They showed some qualities that we’re going to need over the course of the remaining games – resilience, togetherness, putting bodies on line, working hard.

“You have to win football matches all different ways. I’m delighted for the players, supporters and the club but this is just one step, there’s 13 to go.

“When you’re down the bottom, you win a game and if you lose you’re back where you were, you have to try and pick up points every game if you can.”

Derby manager Steve McClaren:

“We’d started looking at teams getting in the play-offs and what they do is they make sure that they don’t get beat to a top-six team and they make sure they beat the bottom six and that’s what we’ve failed to do.

“We’ve lost games that you look on paper we shouldn’t have lost. We’re losing by the odd goal, it’s always frustrating but doubly when we’re not scoring.”

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