After David Button had almost single handily kept the Bees level, Alan Judge struck a sublime opener to leave those connected with the Rams harbouring that sinking feeling again, before they went all-out to get back into the contest.
Their efforts bore fruit as Jeff Hendrick's finish from a tight angle clawed Derby level before Cyrus Christie’s first goal in Rams colours turned the game on its head.
After a nervous spell, in which a combination of Scott Carson and Jacob Butterfield kept the ball out in injury time, Chris Martin wrapped up the points as Derby ended their eight game winless run in the Sky Bet Championship.
Darren Wassall, the Head Coach, made three changes to the side fell to a 1-0 defeat to MK Dons a week ago and reverted back to the tried and tested 4-3-3 formation.
Jamie Hanson, Butterfield and Darren Bent were all named in the starting XI and from the first whistle the visitors, donning their eye-catching away kit, started on the front foot.
Only a fine double save from Button in the Brentford goal prevented Hendrick from opening the scoring after the Republic of Ireland international had fought off two challengers to make his way into the penalty area.
Moments later, the Bees’ goalkeeper produced another standout save, denying Bent from close range after Hendrick, again, had got away from his closest marker to create a yard for himself.
Derby’s start to the game was relentless and impressive as they played with a high tempo on and off the ball.
Bradley Johnson, utilised on the left of the attacking trio, rifled over from the edge of the area, before the hosts started to get more of a foothold on a game that had been largely dominated by Wassall’s side.
They fashioned their first opening of the contest on 16 minutes after Judge won a free kick. The midfield man took the set play himself, delivering an inch-perfect ball on to the head of Nico Yennaris, who could only divert the ball into the arms of Carson.
Judge tried his own luck from the edge of the area following a well-worked corner routine, but again Carson was equal to it as he sprung to his left to claim his first time drive.
The Irish midfielder was proving to be the Bees’ biggest threat as another one of his set piece deliveries was diverted wide at the far post by Jack O’Connell after he got in behind the Derby backline.
After a 10 minute spell of pressure from the hosts, Derby rediscovered some control as Button was called into action again to keep them at bay.
A dangerous cross from Marcus Olsson out on the left was diverted by Jake Bidwell towards his own goal, but his colleague in between the sticks was alert to beat the loose ball away from his near post.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper was having an inspired game as he again prevented the Rams from taking a deserved lead after Russell had robbed Judge of possession, cut in more centrally and got his shot away, but again Button did enough.
That proved to be the catalyst for Dean Smith’s outfit as they came out reinvigorated for the second 45 minutes.
On the front foot, Lasse Vibe saw an early effort blocked for a corner, but moments later Brentford opened the scoring through the superb Judge.
All his own work, the midfielder first showed great tenacity to rob the ball back in the middle of the park before making his way towards the edge of the box and thundering an effort across Carson and into the back of the net.
Shortly before the hour mark, the 27-year-old let fly from 25 yards, but got his aim wrong on this occasion as it flew over the crossbar.
The game was becoming more open and frantic as the contest wore on as Wassall threw more and more men forward in an attempt to find an equaliser.
Butterfield let fly with a half volley from range that Button grasped at the second attempt, before that save led to a swift Brentford break that culminated in an effort being blazed over from the left.
Sitting further and further back, Brentford invited pressure from the visitors and were undone by a touch of misfortune as the Rams levelled.
Patiently moving the ball around, a ball into the middle that looked to be cleared cannoned off Tom Ince, the substitute, and fell into the path of Hendrick, who calmly slotted beyond Button from a tight angle.
It didn’t end there either as the 1,664 Derby fans housed in the away end entered pandemonium three minutes as the Rams turned the game on its head.
Not resting on their laurels, Derby pushed forward once more as Bradley Johnson collected possession and cut the ball back. There, Chris Martin was lurking, but after the substitute saw his effort saved Christie was following to smash into the back of the net.
The final minutes did not end comfortably as the visitors’ lead hung on a knife-edge. Jason Shackell saw a ball deflect off him and narrowly wide before Harlee Dean headed agonisingly over on the cusp of added time.
Carson then pulled off a sublime reaction save deep into injury time, but from that Derby broke at pace with three blue shirts again one red and white stripped. Martin, coolly, evaded the one man after collecting the ball before sweeping beyond Button as the Rams wrapped up all three points and claimed their first win since Boxing Day.
Brentford: Button, Colin, Bidwell, Dean, McEachran (Swift, 70), Woods, Kerschbaumer (Canos, 86), Judge, Vibe (Djuricin, 74), O’Connell, Yennaris
Substitutes not used: Bonham, Saunders, Hofmann, Clarke
Derby County: Carson, Christie, Keogh (C), Shackell, Olsson; Hanson (Blackman, 68), Butterfield, Hendrick; Russell (Ince, 77), Johnson, Bent (Martin, 60)
Substitutes not used: Grant, Bryson, Buxton, Camara
Attendance: 10,627 (1,664 Derby supporters)