REPORT: Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Derby County
Derby County came from behind to take all three points at Hillsborough on Saturday and maintain their promotion push.
It was far from a classic, all three goals coming in a poor first-half that was then followed by a not too indifferent second, the hosts lacking much in the way of attacking ideas and the Rams, although looking to have a similar problem early on, eventually defending their goal well and threatening a third on the break.
The points will have been welcomed by Rams boss Frank Lampard after the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa two weeks ago, this result ground out rather than produced with much flair but it will matter little to those of a Rams persuasion.
And it all means the exciting Championship promotion race continues to have Derby County very much as a main ingredient.
After a quiet first few minutes both on the pitch and in the stands, Wednesday had the first chance of note as Lucas Joao cut in from the left and drove a shot low of Scott Carson's right-hand post.
But it would be Wednesday who would get the lead four minutes later. Barry Bannan sprayed a long ball forward and after it evaded Joao, Adam Reach controlled on his chest before finishing well past Carson. The winger had far too much time to score and punished the Rams.
The game then descended into a real borefest with neither side showing much going forward, until out of nowhere the Rams got level on 29 minutes with their first shot on goal.
Andre Wisdom and Duane Holmes combined down the right and the latter's pass to Jack Marriott saw him chip the ball to the back post where it was met by a controlled volley from Harry Wilson which found the far corner from six yards out. It was literally the first time Derby had done anything productive in the final third.
And sure enough, six minutes later they scored again, as Florian Jozefzoon helped the ball through to Marriott and the in-form striker controlled well and composed himself to finish well into the corner of the net.
Morgan Fox headed over the top from a corner just before the break as the hosts looked to get back on level terms, then Marriott flicked Scott Malone's low cross onto the top of the crossbar moments later, but half-time arrived with the Rams in front.
It took 12 minutes of the second-half for a chance to arrive and it was a great one, as Fernando Forestieri was put in on goal and with the outside of his right foot skewed the ball wide when he really should have scored.
The Rams seemed happy to soak up pressure and play on the counter, though that risk was highlighted when Fox headed against the post when Derby failed to clear a corner on 70 minutes.
At the other end, Tom Huddlestone then broke forward and hit a piledriver from 25 yards which Cameron Dawson did well to tip over the bar as the ball headed towards the top corner of the net.
Wilson then hit a free-kick too high from a similar distance as the Rams sought a third goal that would surely kill the hosts off.
It didn't come, but the visitors had done enough and reached the final whistle with the three points intact.
Sheff Wed: Dawson, Fox (Penney 74), Pelupessy, Bannan, Lees (c), Joao, Matias (Nuhiu 73), Reach, Baker, Hector, Forestieri
Subs not used: Wildsmith, Palmer, Onomah, Thorniley, Pudil
Derby: Carson, Wisdom, Tomori (Davies 46), Keogh (c), Wilson, Mount (Bryson 70), Jozefzoon (Lawrence 77), Marriott, Holmes, Huddlestone, Malone
Subs not used: Roos, Waghorn, Johnson, Pearce
Ref: Jeremy Simpson