Kent look set for an uphill struggle in their quest to dismiss lowly visitors Derbyshire who went into tea on day two on 168 for two and trailing by 211.
The hosts winkled out two batsmen in the mid-session, but lacked the cutting edge of attack leader Matt Coles, whose absence from the game has sparked rumours aplenty among the Kent membership.
With Coles out of the picture, Kent turned to six bowlers but only the wily duo of Mitch Claydon and James Tredwell enjoyed any success. Billy Godleman (33) nicked off to make it 75 for one then, after facing 120 balls, Hamish Rutherford edged to Alex Blake to give Tredwell his first scalp of the match.
Earlier, Kent captain Sam Northeast was dismissed nine short of a maiden double hundred as Kent posted 379 all out.