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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:11 GMT
Derby 3-0 Rotherham
Georgi Kinkladze, Adam Bolder and 18-year-old striker Izale McLeod scored as Derby defeated 10-man Rotherham.

Visiting keeper Mike Pollitt was controversially dismissed in the first half - turning the match decisively in Derby's favour.

The result gave the beleaguered Rams fans something to smile about following the triple departure of Danny Higginbotham, Malcolm Christie and Chris Riggott on Friday.

Pollitt was given a straight red card for handling outside the penalty area in the 13th minute.

Kinkladze buried the subsequent free-kick past substitute keeper Ian Gray to give the Rams an early lead.

Gray pulled off a fine save to deny McLeod from close range and, with 10-man Rotherham in danger of being overrun, the interval could not come soon enough for boss Ronnie Moore.

But just when it looked like the Millers had escaped with just a one-goal deficit Derby struck again on the stroke of half-time.

Kinkladze found space down the right and his cross was drilled home by Bolder to give the scoreline a more realistic look.

Four minutes after the break Warren Barton swept forward and his telling cross into the six-yard box was converted by McLeod from close range.

Millers defender Martin McIntosh denied Derby a fourth, blocking Robert Lee's goalbound shot and McLeod spurned a gilt-edged chance moments later when he dragged his side-footer wide.

Lee Morris and substitute Fabrizio Ravanelli forced further good saves from Gray but it was a comfortable win for John Gregory's team.


Derby: Grant, Barton, Evatt, Elliott, Zavagno, Bolder, Lee, Kinkladze, Boertien, Morris, McLeod. Subs: Oakes, Jackson, Burley, Ravanelli, Tudgay.

Rotherham: Pollitt, Bryan, Swailes, McIntosh, Hurst, Sedgwick, Woodhouse, Daws, Garner, Byfield, Richard Barker. Subs: Gray, Lee, Warne, Monkhouse, Branston.

Referee: S Dunn (Avon).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Radio Derby's Graham Richards
"An uplifting, fortune-favoured day"
Derby boss John Gregory
"There's no better outcome for the week"
Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore
"Nobody seems to know what the rule is"

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