Derby County fell to a 1-0 defeat against Rotherham at Pride Park Stadium.
Wayne Rooney was in the dug out for the first time as the Rams’ permanent manager following the announcement of his appointment on Friday afternoon.
It had been 14 days since the Derby first-team were last in action following a period of isolation due to a COVID-19 outbreak and Rooney named two changes to the team that tasted defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
David Marshall missed out due to illness and was replaced by Kelle Roos while 19-year-old Jason Knight took the captain’s armband. Martyn Waghorn also rejoined the starting line-up after serving a three-match ban and replaced Louie Sibley.
After a game of few chances, Jamie Lindsay sent the Millers home with three points when he struck from close range after a chance ricocheted off the post.
Derby’s first chance came inside the opening ten minutes when Nathan Byrne raced to the byline and flashed a cross from the right to towards Kamil Jozwiak at the near post. The winger missed the header and the loose ball popped out to the opposite side of the area to Graeme Shinnie. With plenty of space around him he struck the half-volley and forced a strong palm from Jamal Blackman.
On the 15 minute-mark, the first chance fell for the visitors when the ball was squared to Michael Smith on the left at the byline and he steered his effort wide of the near post.
Just one minute later, they came close again when a mistake at the back saw Smith take the ball from Andre Wisdom and found Wes Harding. He crossed to Ben Wiles who headed his effort just over the crossbar for Rotherham.
The Rams needed some impetus after a slow start to the game and almost found it after 26 minutes. Byrne sent in another dangerous ball, finding other full-back, Lee Buchanan who’s vicious half-volley flew towards the near bottom corner but was palmed wide.
The Millers found the back of the net with ten minutes left to play in the first half when Richard Wood’s neat finish on the half-volley found the bottom corner, but the linesman raised his flag for offside as the visitors ran off in celebration.
Neither side saw many chances in the early stages of the second half in a scrappy battle.
With 20 minutes left to play, Byrne sent a short corner to Jozwiak scooped the ball through the box to the feet of Martyn Waghorn and the forward turned his effort just wide of the post.
Two minutes later, good work from Knight chased down his man, won the ball back and fed to Shinnie who was racing forward. He took the chance first time but into the palms of Blackman.
There was danger for Derby soon after when a strong challenge on Jozwiak deep in the Millers’ half saw the Rams’ winger taken to the ground and Matt Crooks went on a quick counter-attack. At the byline he squared in but Kelle Roos dived down before anyone could get on the end of it.
Another close call came in the final ten minutes, but Wisdom cleared off the line to deny Lindsay.
However, the blow came with three minutes remaining. Daniel Barlaser stood up to a free-kick midway into Derby’s half and his effort rattled off the post and back into the box and among a crowd of bodies. It was Lindsay who got the final say and lashed the ball into the back of the net.
Derby County: Roos, Wisdom, Shinnie (Sibley, 83), Bielik (Bird, 67), Jozwiak, Waghorn, Byrne, Kazim-Richards, Clarke, Buchanan, Knight (C).
Substitutes: Foster, Forsyth, Whittaker, Evans, McDonald, Gordon, Mitchell-Lawson.
Rotherham United: Blackman, Wood (C), Wiles, Lindsay, Harding, Ihiekwe, MacDonald, Olosunde, Smith (Ladapo, 80), Crooks, Barlaser.
Substitutes: Johnsson, Jones, MacDonald, Hirst, Robertson, Clarke, Tilt.