Derby County settled for a point at Pride Park Stadium in a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers in the Sky Bet Championship.
The draw saw a five-game winning run at home come to an end after Eberechi Eze’s converted penalty cancelled out Martyn Waghorn’s earlier free-kick effort.
Ahead of kick-off, Pride Park welcomed Wayne Rooney to Derby County as he walked out on the pitch, giving Rams fans their first chance to see him after signing with the club in August.
Phillip Cocu made four changes to the starting line-up from the mid-week trip to Fulham. Ben Hamer made his first league appearance for the Rams while Andre Wisdom came back into the fold to make his first league start of the season. Jack Marriott and Scott Malone returned to the starting XI to replace Chris Martin and Max Lowe.
Cocu was forced to make another change ahead of kick-off after Krystian Bielik pulled out of the warm-up, calling George Evans up from the bench.
The Rams started on the front foot and after two minutes they had already put Joe Lumley to work. Wisdom sent a long ball down the pitch to Waghorn who quickly found Jayden Bogle on the right of the area. He took aim and Lumley palmed it away. The resulting corner was then headed just wide of the mark.
Just minutes later, Lumbley almost gifts Derby a goal when he mis-controlled the ball infront of his goal, but he recovered well to chase it down in time.
The goal did come for the Rams after 23 minutes. Tom Lawrence was brought down just outside the area and stood over the ball alongside Waghorn. It was the latter who elected to take it and his thunderous effort evaded the wall and nestled into the top right corner.
Chances for either side started coming thick and fast around the half-hour mark. First, Hamer was forced to make a smart stop, tipping away a low effort by Ryan Manning from the edge of the box that was then quickly cleared by Craig Forsyth.
Straight down the other end, Waghorn looked to double his tally. Scott Malone crossed in from the left to find the forward in front of goal, but his headed effort was caught by Lumley. It was then back to the Rams’ stopper to step up again with a brilliant save. Angel Rangel struck across goal but was denied by the fingertips of an outstretched Hamer.
The Hoops’ goal did come, however, in added time. Waghorn was adjudged to have fouled Bright Osayi-Samuel in the area and referee David Webb pointed to the spot. Eze stuttered in his run-up before sending the penalty effort into the bottom left corner.
Following the break, Derby looked more organised and controlled and had two decent chances within ten minutes. They were awarded a free-kick in the middle of QPR’s half which Lawrence set short to Holmes who was wide open.
The midfielder struck from 20 yards, but his effort was deflected just over the cross bar. Three minutes later, and another set piece delivered by Lawrence. This time from a corner to Jack Marriott struck over from the edge of the box.
The Rams kept pushing to regain the lead without too much danger down the other end. With 15 minutes to go, Lawrence and Marriott combined again from the corner and the striker volleyed over from inside the area.
Cocu’s side ran out of time and a five-game winning run at Pride Park came to an end as they were forced to settle for the draw. They will now look to pick up valuable points on the road when they head to Blackburn Rovers in a week’s time.
Derby County: Hamer; Bogle (Whittaker, 68), Wisdom, Davies (C), Forsyth, Malone; Holmes, Evans, Lawrence; Waghorn (Martin, 81), Marriott (Knight, 81)
Unused Subs: Roos, Dowell, Paterson, Lowe
Queens Park Rangers: Lumley; Rangel, Hall, Leistner, Manning; Cameron, Pugh (Wells, 78); Osayi-Samuel, Eze, Amos(Scowen, 71); Hugill
Unused Subs: Barnes, Kane, Smith, Ball, Chair