Sheffield Wednesday spoiled Derby boss Wayne Rooney’s run of one defeat in nine games as Owls stand-in boss Neil Thompson won the battle of the two caretakers at Hillsborough.
Callum Paterson’s scrambled 61st-minute winner proved enough to hand the Rams only their second defeat in nine games.
That made it two wins from two for Thompson since he took over following the sacking of Tony Pulis on Monday.
Having begun the season with a 12-point deduction for breaking EFL spending rules, which was halved on appeal in November, Wednesday’s sixth win of the season lifts them above Derby and out of the bottom three of the Championship for the first time, up to 20th.
Three of those six league victories have come in a four-game unbeaten run, the Owls having picked up four points from the final two games with Pulis in charge.
Substitute Jordan Rhodes was just stripping off to ready to come on and replace Paterson when the winning goal went in.
Derby failed to clear Barry Bannan’s free-kick and, in the resulting scramble, Paterson nodded in for his fourth goal of the season – and second in as many games. And Rhodes had to wait another 11 minutes before that switch was eventually made.
The Rams had more of the possession and the better chances over the 90 minutes, going closest when Colin Kazim-Richards hit the bar in the first half.
The Owls improved after the break and visibly grew in confidence after going ahead.
But Derby were left aggrieved after being denied a late penalty for a blatant handball against Kadeem Harris – a decision that would have been overturned by the video assistant referee had this been a Premier League game.
This was Derby’s fourth defeat since Philip Cocu’s departure in mid-November, but only their second in nine games since Rooney took sole responsibility, after losing their first two matches in the immediate wake of Cocu’s sacking. The other defeat in that run came at home to Preston last Saturday.
- 7K Harris
- 5PatersonSubstituted forRhodesat 72′minutes
- 18WindassSubstituted forKachungaat 37′minutes
- 3ForsythSubstituted forBuchananat 72′minutes
- 4ShinnieSubstituted forBirdat 72′minutes
- 7JozwiakBooked at 90mins
- 13Kazim-RichardsBooked at 90mins
- 17SibleySubstituted forHector-Ingramat 79′minutes
- 6te Wierik
- Matt Donohue
Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 1, Derby County 0.