Derby County ground out a hard-fought 1-0 victory away at Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon to move up to second in Sky Bet League One.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's first-half strike was enough to hand the Rams all three points and see them jump into the automatic promotion places.

Key Moments

An injury to Charlton goalkepeer Ashley Maynard-Brewer caused a long stoppage in the early stages meaning the first real meaningful attack didn't come until the 15th minute. New signing Ebou Adams did brilliantly on his debut to get back and prevent a cut-back from Tyreeq Bakinson with Alfie May waiting centrally.

It took 30 minutes for the Rams to threaten the Addicks but the first shot brought with it a goal. Midfielder Max Bird pounced on a loose pass from a defender and slipped through Mendez-Laing who made no mistake from close-range, slotting cooly beyond Maynard-Brewer.

Mendez-Laing was down for a good amount of time with what looked like a foot injury just prior to his goal and had to be replaced by Tom Barkhuizen soon after he had put the Rams in front.

With 10 minutes of additional time signalled at the end of the first-half, Tayo Edun fired just over following a cut-back from the right and Derby defender Sonny Bradley headed into the arms of Maynard-Brewer up the other end.

May forced Rams goalkeeper Josh Vickers into a routine save at the start of the second-half as the home side went in search of an early equaliser.

Charlton were inches away from getting that equaliser soon after. Excellent work down the right saw Tennai Watson put a teasing cross into the area that clipped off of Eiran Cashin on the way through and dropped just wide of the post.

Substitute Daniel Kanu saw an effort tipped over the bar brilliantly by Vickers as the Addicks continued to boss the early stages of the second-half.

Derby's first forage forward of the second period very nearly brought with it a goal following a superb run from Bird. The midfielder picked it up in the middle of the park and drove at the defence before making his way into the box and firing inches wide of the far post.

Chances were of the bare minimum as the game progressed with the home side doing little to threaten Vickers' clean-sheet.

The Rams saw the match out relatively comfortably to claim three points on the road and move up to second in Sky Bet League One.


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The Teams

Charlton Athletic: Maynard-Brewer (GK), Thomas, Ness, May (C), Ladapo (90' Fiorini), Edun (46' Kanu), Watson (78' Campbell), Gillesphey (68' Ramsay), Bakinson (78' Watson), Coventry, Edmonds-Green.

Substitutes not used: Isted (GK), Jones.

Derby County: Vickers (GK), Hourihane (C), Bradley, Cashin, Bird, Collins, Mendez-Laing (38' Barkhuizen) (89' Wilson), Sibley (72' Elder), Ward (89' Nyambe), Adams (72' Thompson), Nelson.

Substitutes not used: Wildsmith (GK), Wilson, Smith.

What's Next Up?

The Rams return home a week today when they welcome Shrewsbury Town to Pride Park stadium in Sky Bet League One (3pm kick-off).