Match ends, Preston North End 1, Derby County 2.
Chris Martin's classy first-half double was enough to defeat Preston North End and earn Derby County their first win under new head coach Paul Clement.
Scotland international Martin put Derby ahead with a fine strike, instantly controlling Johnny Russell's sublime pass and netting from close range.
And the striker's superb 20-yard free-kick made it 2-0 before half-time.
Preston posed the greater threat after the break but their only reward came through Daniel Johnson's late strike.
Johnson's curled effort came after 13 minutes of added time because of a serious injury suffered by Rams captain Chris Baird, who had to be taken off on a stretcher late on following an 11-minute delay.
Despite a frantic finish in the final three of 16 minutes of additional time, the visitors held on.
Before Johnson's goal, Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant was also forced to make a couple of decent saves, notably from the lively Johnson's long-range shot.
But despite losing the midfield battle and rarely looking like adding to their tally in the second period, Clement's men were able to end a six-game winless start in all competitions thanks to Martin's first-half quality.
They led when a swift break out of defence saw Tom Ince find Russell and the attacker's exquisite pass was brilliantly controlled and finished by Martin.
Debutant Bradley Johnson nearly added to the lead with a low strike before the second goal did arrive, when Martin scored with a delightful free-kick in to the top corner after the excellent Russell was fouled.
|Lucky number seven for Clement|
|Derby had failed to take the lead in any of their previous six games this season, drawing four and losing two, while Preston have managed just three goals in six league fixtures so far this term.|
Daniel Johnson twice went close for the home side in the first half and Preston upped the tempo after the interval.
Joe Garner struck the post from close range before Johnson's deflected strike gave North End hope of earning a point, but they were unable to avoid a third defeat in six Championship games this season.
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson:
"We always knew it would be a tough game against a team who have spent a lot of money and are one of the favourites for the division.
"But if you don't do the basics against anybody you won't give yourself the chances to win. We started well, but then the two goals I thought we could have defended a little but better.
"At least we had a go second half, we threatened them and they didn't have too many opportunities. We hit the post, their keeper made a couple of good saves but we didn't get the breaks that we wanted.
"When you go into the Championship, you know that if you make a couple of little mistakes, people are there to punish you. You have to learn from those mistakes and try and affect the game a little bit better."
Derby County head coach Paul Clement:
"I won't shy away from the point that we've not started the season well in terms of results.
"Maybe this was some of our poorest display in terms of our football. Better in the first half, but a poor game in the second half.
"What I'm happy with was the resilience of the players, they showed that they could deal with a very direct style of play.
"In the first half we played well but not so much in the second, but I was pleased with the character."
- 23HuntingtonBooked at 36mins
- 2VermijlSubstituted forMayat 55'minutes
- 19WelshSubstituted forHumphreyat 70'minutes
- 9KeaneSubstituted forDoyleat 55'minutes
- 14GarnerBooked at 90mins
- 37WarnockSubstituted forForsythat 79'minutes
- 12BairdBooked at 56mins
- 18ButterfieldSubstituted forHendrickat 61'minutes
- 23InceSubstituted forWeimannat 74'minutes
- 11RussellBooked at 75mins
- Richard Clark
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Preston North End 1, Derby County 2.
Attempt blocked. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Humphrey.
Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Johnny Russell (Derby County).
Goal! Preston North End 1, Derby County 2. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Chris Humphrey.
Neil Kilkenny (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jeff Hendrick (Derby County).
Foul by Bailey Wright (Preston North End).
Andreas Weimann (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).
Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Andreas Weimann (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Martin.
Foul by Eoin Doyle (Preston North End).
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Joe Garner (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Joe Garner (Preston North End).
Jason Shackell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Chris Baird went off injured after Derby County had used all subs.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.