Derby County's first pre-season game following their return from Spain ended in a 1-0 victory over National League side Chesterfield on Wednesday night.

Striker James Collins scored the only goal of the game on the hour mark, heading past Harry Tyrer following a brilliant cross from right wing-back Joe Ward.

First Half

Chesterfield threatened within the opening minute when Will Grigg capitalised on a Sonny Bradley slip but Josh Vickers in the Derby goal got down low to save well.

The Rams were gifted the opportunity to take the lead after just four minutes when Max Bird was felled by goalkeeper Tyrer in the area. Collins stepped up to take the spot-kick but saw his effort saved well by the Spireites stopper.

Ollie Banks fired wide for the hosts from 25 yards out as both sides continued to search for an opener in the first 45 minutes, while at the other end defeder Eiran Cashin did well to beat his man at the far post and headed inches wide from a Ward set-piece.

Chesterfield went close with a set-piece of their own when Tyrone Williams header over the bar of Vickers from Liam Mandeville's cross.

Second Half

Chances were few and far between in the opening stages of the second period but an off-the-ball clash between Armando Dobra and Curtis Nelson saw both go into the book.

The Rams broke the deadlock on the hour mark and it was Collins with the goal. Ward whipped in a delicious delivery from the right and the striker headed brilliantly past Tyrer to put Derby a goal to the good.

Substitute goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith pulled off a fine stop to deny Jeff King an equaliser, diving low down to his right to stop a direct free-kick.

At the opposite end of the pitch, young striker Dajaune Brown came off the bench and flicked a brilliant effort agonisingly wide following a Collins cross as the Rams looked to double their lead.

Head Coach Paul Warne introduced numerous youngsters as the game progressed with Daniel Cox, Jaydan Davidson, Keilen Robinson and Callum Moore all getting minutes in the tank.

The Rams saw the closing stages out well to claim their second pre-season victory from three matches.

Rams Line-Up

Derby County: Vickers (GK) (58' Wildsmith); Hourihane (C) (70' Radcliffe), Bradley (63' Rooney), Cashin (78' Cox), Bird (78' Davidson), Collins (78' Moore), Mendez-Laing (70' Johnson), Thompson (89' Robinson), Ward (63' Bardell), Robinson (58' Brown), Nelson (58' Forsyth).

Coming Up...

Derby return to Pride Park Stadium for the first time since the conclusion of the 2022/23 season on Saturday afternoon when they take on Sky Bet Championship side Stoke City in Craig Forsyth's Testimonial (3pm kick-off).