Derby County recorded their second league victory of the campaign at Pride Park in emphatic fashion, as goals from Jake Buxton, Will Hughes and Chris Martin helped seal a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
After an overabundance of first-half opportunities for the home side, Buxton eventually found a way through when he towered highest to power home Jamie Ward’s corner, and send the Rams into the dressing room a goal ahead at the interval.
England Under-21 international Hughes met Craig Forsyth’s low cross just four minutes into the second period to double the Rams' advantage, prior to Martin ensuring the points with a simple tap in from a Ward cross.
After penning terms on a non-contract basis on Friday evening, Kalifa Cisse was handed his debut for the Rams against the Owls.
Cisse replaced the suspended John Eustace, who incurred a one match ban after receiving his fifth yellow card of the campaign against Queens Park Rangers last weekend.
Therefore Wisdom retained his position at right-back after Head Coach Steve McClaren considered him for the vacant midfield role, and the Liverpool loanee displayed signs of his Premier League pedigree early on, as he strolled past three Wednesday players and forced a corner in the opening two minutes.
But the Owls, who were boosted by their first league victory of the 2013/14 campaign last weekend over Reading, responded, with Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant forced to react quickly and race off his goal line to deny Matty Fryatt at the forward’s feet.
However, the Hull City loan striker's half-chance sparked a flurry of Derby opportunities. Firstly, short, sharp passes between Wisdom, Ward and Hughes freed Simon Dawkins. The forward burst into the penalty area before sending a delicate floating chip wide of Chris Kirkland’s goal.
The Rams displayed real urgency in the opening 10 minutes, with central defender Richard Keogh darting forward from the back, whilst both Ward and Dawkins were beginning to find more and more space between the Owls’ midfield and defence.
18-year-old Hughes was up against the experienced and physical Stephen McPhail and Seyi Olofinjana in midfield, but the England Under-21 international continually managed to engineer attacking moves for the Rams.
Hughes even had an opportunity himself in the 14th minute, when a mix-up between Kirkland and Roger Johnson left the Academy graduate just inside the penalty area surrounded by bodies. From a tight angle, Hughes elected to try and pick out the onrushing Craig Bryson, but the Scotsman was thwarted in his attempt to get a shot on goal.
Bryson then lashed a 30-yard free-kick goalwards; his effort took a deflection, and with Kirkland wrong footed, the ball whistled agonisingly wide.
Chances continued to fall the Rams’ way as Dawkins jinked past two Wednesday defenders after a superb double tackle from Hughes, but his effort also took a wicked deflection, as it dropped onto the roof of the net.
Derby were rampant. Craig Forsyth’s low cross saw both Bryson and Martin scamper to the near post, but neither could force the ball over the line, prior to Tottenham Hotspur loanee Dawkins dragging a shot wide, which left the Owls rattled, so much so that McPhail talked himself into a booking.
With the opening 45 minutes drawing to a close, Forsyth flicked a Ward free-kick over the crossbar, but just as the Owls thought they had made it to half-time with a clean sheet, Derby finally got a goal their play deserved.
From another Ward set-piece, this time a corner, Buxton showed sheer grit and determination to soar highest and meet the Northern Ireland international’s delivery, and crash a header past Kirkland, in off the underside of the crossbar.
The Rams began the second half on top with Buxton sending an early header over following a raking cross from the right; before Derby went on to extend their advantage with another graceful move.
Martin and Forsyth linked up well down the left. The latter’s cut-back across the face of goal was met by a sliding Hughes at the far post, who slammed the ball into the net.
Owls manager Dave Jones reacted by introducing two substitutes, Jermaine Johnson and Giles Coke for Jeremy Helan and McPhail respectively.
In the teams’ two previous meetings last season, the Owls fought back from two goals behind to force draws, and Wednesday had a golden chance to halve the deficit and mount a comeback when the ball fell to substitute Jermaine Johnson at the far post, but the winger leant back and fired harmlessly over.
However, the Rams ensured there would be no Wednesday riposte in the 58th minute. Mali international Cisse picked out midfield partner Hughes, who in turn freed Ward down the right. The 27-year-old crossed for Martin at the far post, who was left with a simple tap in.
Despite fleeting chances for the visitors, that included a fine save from Grant to deny Connor Wickham, Derby remained a threat on the counter attack and could even have extended their already impressive advantage.
Dawkins swept Hughes’ blocked shot onto the outside of the post, prior to Bryson crossing for Ward, only for the former Sheffield United forward to be denied by Roger Johnson, who looked to flick the ball away with the use of his hand.
With the game entering the final 15 minutes, Ward cut in from the right and tied Roger Johnson in knots, before forcing Kirkland into a fine reflex save. But the three goals proved more than enough, as the Rams ended the afternoon as the Sky Bet Championship's leading scorers.
Derby County: Grant (GK); Wisdom, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Cisse, Hughes, Bryson, Dawkins (Bennett 78’), Ward, Martin (Sammon 87’).
Subs not used: Morch (GK), Freeman, Jacobs, Davies, Smith.
Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland (GK), Buxton, Reda Johnson, Roger Johnson, Zayette, McPhail (Coke 53’), Olofinjana (Palmer 77’), Fryatt, Wickham, Antonio, Helan (Jermaine Johnson 53').
Subs not used: Martinez (GK), Mattock, Llera, Nihui.
Attendance: 26,421 (3,715 visiting supporters).