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Derby County returned to winning ways in the Sky Bet Championship with a dominating first-half performance to earn a 2-1 victory over Reading.

Duane Holmes coolly slotted in his first goals for the Rams after latching onto a through ball from Harry Wilson after just three minutes. The Welsh winger then added to his goal tally minutes from the break with another strike from range.

The visitors got a consolation goal in the second-half through substitute Sone Aluko.

The three points retained Derby’s place in the top-six.

The Rams raced out of the blocks, with the momentum from the midweek FA Cup victory fully behind them. Within the first three minutes they took the lead as Duane Holmes coolly slotted in his first ever Derby goal.

He was played through in the right side of the area by Wilson and fired a low effort past the fingertips of Anssi Jaakkola and into the far corner.

Straight away and the Rams went looking to double their lead as they were proving too difficult for the Royals to contain. Jack Marriott had back-to-back chances in the fourth and fifth minute. His first saw him go one-on-one with Jaakkola, but this time Reading’s keeper managed to block the effort.

Moments later the visiting stopper played the ball straight to the Rams’ strikers feet for him to lob a shot over that bounced just wide.

With the Royals lucky to only be a goal behind, they began to build into the game slightly, but struggled to break Derby down. Their only real threat in the half came after 20 minutes when John Swift’s shot across goal went just wide.

The Rams deservedly got their second goal of the half five minutes before the break. Wilson rifled in his 12th goal from the edge of the box. It took a deflection before ricocheting into the roof of the net.

Reading posed more of a threat to start the second-half with Modou Barrow at the helm for the Royals. He first whipped in a dangerous cross, but no one was there to collect before firing over.

Derby found the back of the net for a third time just before the hour mark with some wonderful play leading up to Marriott finding Martyn Waghorn to slot in, however, he was ruled offside. Moments later, another chance went begging for the Rams when a great ball from Fikayo Tomori was just an inch too far for Mason Mount to reach at the far post.

Reading pulled one back with 25 minutes left to play. Sone Aluko, who had just come off the bench, went one-on-one with Roos after a mistake at the back and his low effort went into the bottom right corner.

Roos, in his first league appearance for the Rams, risk payed off when he raced out the area as Reading made a break and made a superb tackle to distinguish the threat.

The visitors failed to find the equaliser and the Rams retunred to winning ways in the league.

Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Malone; Mount, Huddlestone, H. Wilson (Evans, 90); Holmes (Nugent, 86), Marriott (Bennett, 80), Waghorn

Unused Subs: Mitchell, Bird, Buchanan, T. Wilson

Reading: Jaakkola; Rinomhota, Ilori, Moore (C), Yiadom; Bacuna, Baker (Aluko, 45); Barrow (McCleary, 72), Swift, Ejaria; Bodvarsson (Loader, 63)

Unused Subs: Walker, Gunter, Blackett, Richards

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