Matej Vydra struck early once again to set Derby County on their way to 2-0 win against 10-man Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium.
Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens saw red early on after giving away the penalty from which Vydra opened the scoring, with substitute Bradley Johnson sealing the three points with his fourth league goal of the season late on.
It’s now back-to-back wins for Derby for the first time since August, whilst they’ve only lost one of their 10 home league games since Rowett took charge.
Derby are making a habit of fast starts at home and that was the case again, as Vydra raced through after exchanging passes with David Nugent.
Loovens clattered into the Czech just inside the area and the referee had no choice but to give the Dutchman his marching orders after just four minutes.
Vydra picked himself up and sent Kieren Westwood the wrong way from the spot to give his side an early lead for the second weekend running.
The Rams continued to create and Tom Lawrence went agonisingly close after being played through by Nugent, with his chipped effort rolling against the post before being cleared.
Richard Keogh was the next to come close after making a marauding run to latch onto Tom Huddlestone’s through ball, but this time Westwood made a strong block.
The Owls came back into the game and Curtis Davies had to be at his best to make a brilliant recovery challenge when Gary Hooper was through, before Steven Fletcher’s downward header bounced just wide.
Carlos Carvalhal’s side continued to probe after the break, with Barry Bannan forcing a flying save from Carson after an hour as Derby battled to protect the lead.
Rowett’s side were rewarded for their patience four minutes from time, as the lively Johnny Russell set up Johnson to secure the three points.
It was the perfect return for the midfielder after he was suspended for last weekend’s East Midlands derby success, and Derby saw out time to extend their unbeaten home run against Wednesday to 10 games.
Derby County: Carson; Wisdom, Davies, Keogh, Forsyth; Huddlestone, Ledley; Russell, Vydra (Johnson 78’), Lawrence (Thorne 88’); Nugent (Martin 61’).
Substitutes not used: Mitchell, Baird, Pearce, Thorne, Weimann.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Fox; Wallace (Matias 82'), Lee, Bannan, Reach; Fletcher (Joao 64’), Hooper.
Substitutes not used: Wildsmith, van Aken, Palmer, Jones, Nuhiu.
Vydra’s form so far this season has been a real positive for Rowett and his improvement this term has shown on the scoresheet.
His link-up play with Nugent was swift and Wednesday were in trouble as soon as he got in behind, with Loovens seeing red before Vydra converted the penalty to score his sixth league goal of the season; one more than he managed in the whole of the last campaign.
Lawrence is yet to score this season but he continues to be a threat week in, week out.
The Wales international was desperately unlucky to see his deft chip hit the post after being played through early in the first half, and if he continues in this vein it won’t be long until he finds himself on the scoresheet.
The Rams face two away trips on the bounce as they look to end October on a high.
Rowett’s side travel to Norwich City next Saturday, before a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United just three days later.
Derby then return to Pride Park to face Jaap Stam’s Reading on the 4th November.