Derby County suffered defeat on the road as they were beaten 1-0 at Kenilworth Road by Luton Town.
The only goal of the game came midway through the second half as substitute Danny Hylton found the bottom corner which separated the two sides.
Derby did have chances with Max Bird seeing an effort tipped onto the crossbar, but it proved to be a frustrating afternoon for the Rams who fell to successive defeats in the division.
Manager Wayne Rooney opted for a more experienced-looking line up as Craig Forsyth, Ravel Morrison and Colin Kazim-Richards returned to the starting 11 against the Hatters.
And it was almost Kazim-Richards who gave Derby the lead in the fourth minute, but he struck over the crossbar. Nathan Byrne found Jason Knight on the right, the midfielder drove into the box and cut the ball back to the striker but his effort ballooned over the top.
Kazim-Richards added a physical presence to Derby’s attack and did well to win a free kick on 13 minutes, which Morrison took. He got the ball up and over the wall but his effort from 25 yards was just too high.
It was the Rams who were taking the game to their hosts as successive Nathan Byrne corners caused problems in the Luton defence but Derby struggled to force a clear cut opening.
The home side did start to get their way back into the game and had their first chance just after the half hour mark as a cross from Kal Naismith was met by tall striker Elijah Adebayo but he headed over the crossbar.
Derby did have a shout for a penalty with five minutes of the half remaining. Max Bird threaded a through ball to Byrne who had overlapped him, and after a tangle of legs in the area with Amari’i Bell, the referee waved away the protests as both sides went into the break goalless.
Derby almost took the lead at the start of the second half, and what a goal it would have been. A free kick was cleared to Bird who curled towards goal from 18-yards but a superb tip onto the crossbar from Luton goalkeeper Jed Steer ensured it remained goalless.
At the other end, Ryan Allsop was forced to tip over the crossbar after a strong run and cross from Reece Burke almost ended up in the back of the net.
Both sides turned to their bench in a bid to get something from the game as Luton introduced Hylton and former Derby striker Cameron Jerome to the action, whilst Festy Ebosele came on for the Rams.
And it would be one of those substitutes which gave the home side as Hylton opened the scoring at Kenilworth Road. He received the ball in too much space on the edge of the box and found the bottom corner to put the home side ahead.
Luton would start to frustrate the Rams as they slowed the game down at every opportunity, whilst they almost put gloss on the scoreline in the final 10 minutes.
Substitute Fred Onyedinma found the onrushing James Bree on the right hand side, he shot at goal but Allsop stood tall to deny him from doubling the lead.
The Rams pushed for an equaliser, with Allsop coming forward in the final minute for a corner but it unfortunately it just wasn’t to be for Derby as they fell to defeat.
Luton Town: Steer, Bree, Naismith (C), Cornick (Jerome 59’), Adebayo (Onyedinma 79’), Lockyer, Burke, Campbell, Lansbury (Hylton 51’), Bell, Osho.
Substitutes: Shea, Snodgrass, Mendes-Gomes, Kioso.
Derby County: Allsop, Byrne, Forsyth (Plange 73’), Bielik, Bird (Ebosele 67’), Morrison, Kazim-Richards, Buchanan, Davies, Knight (Ebiowei 84’), Cashin.
Substitutes: Roos, Stearman, Sibley, Thompson.