Derby County were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium.
Bradley Johnson scored his first goal of the season for the Rams in his 100th league start in the first-half when he headed home from Duane Holmes’ corner. Wednesday levelled the score in the second-half through Dominic Iorfa’s header.
The draw moved the Rams back into the top six, pulling ahead of Bristol City and moves the Rams undefeated in two games.
Building on the mid-week win momentum, the Rams came out the blocks strong and pushed forwards in the opening minutes looking to grab an early lead.
Their pressure paid off inside the first ten minutes when Johnson broke the deadlock. Holmes whipped a corner across traffic at the goalmouth to the midfielder on the edge of the six-yard box, who powered his header into the top left corner.
The visitors had a chance to draw level in the 14th minute when George Boyd rifled a shot from the edge of the box, only to be denied by Scott Carson who tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Derby remained bright and on the front-foot and three minutes later had a brilliant opportunity to double their lead. Johnson fed Jayden Bogle down the right flank who drove forward and played Martyn Waghorn through in the box.
The forward rushed on to it with only Kieren Westwood to beat, but Waghorn struggled to get the ball under control and Wednesday’s keeper collected to extinguish the danger.
Carson was called into action again in the 25th minute to palm away a strong effort from the Owls’ forward, Fletcher.
The Owls drew level just more than ten minutes into the second-half after being awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position to the right of the area. Barry Bannan sent the free-kick towards the far post for the towering Iorfa header home.
On the hour mark great work by full-backs Jayden Bogle and Scott Malone almost saw the Rams pull ahead again.
Bogle worked fantastically down the right to beat his man and advance before Malone latched on to a high loose ball on the edge of the area and hurtled a rocket towards goal, looking for his second in two games, but his effort rattled off the far post.
Another great save by Carson with less than 15 minutes remaining kept the scores level when he instinctively batted away a shot by Liam Palmer at the near corner, but the flag at the far side had been raised for offside.
The Owls found the back of the net moments later through former Derby loan player Sam Winnall, but he took the ball from out the safety of Carson’s two hands in a scramble at the goal-mouth and it was disallowed.
Bogle took aim in the 81st minute with a first-touch effort from Duane Holmes’ cross forcing a strong save by Westwood to tip over. With minutes to go before the final whistle, Johnson looked to double his tally when he rifled a shot from range but his effort took a deflection and was send out.
The momentum was firmly with the Rams in the closing minutes and another close call came for the visiting keeper. This time, Jack Marriott close range volley was batted away by Westwood, who then managed to get down on to it before a second chance effort for Derby at the far post.
Derby County: Carson; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Malone; Johnson, Huddlestone; Bennett (Jozefzoon, 35), Waghorn, Wilson (Nugent, 72); Waghorn (Marriott, 68)
Unused Subs: Wisdon, Roos, Cole, Bird
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Iorfa, Lees (C), Hector, Palmer; Bannan, Hutchinson; Reach, Boyd (Winnall, 62), Aarons (Fox, 90); Fletcher (Nuhiu, 51)
Unused Subs: Dawson, Pelupessy, Thorniley, Matias