Jason Knight’s first goals in professional football were enough to give 10-man Derby a much-needed win over Charlton.
The hosts took an early lead when teenager Knight bundled home at the back post but soon found themselves reduced to 10 men when Krystian Bielik was sent off for a poor challenge on Conor Gallagher.
Knight looked to have made the points safe for the Rams, who went into the game on the back of seven matches without a victory, with a composed finish from Max Bird’s cross.
The Addicks pulled one back from the penalty spot through Lyle Taylor, after Curtis Davies felled Gallagher in the area, and Derby were then indebted to a great double save by goalkeeper Ben Hamer from Ben Dempsey and Taylor.
Victory moved Phillip Cocu’s men up to 17th in the table, two points and two places above Charlton.
It was a timely boost for the Rams, who will be able to call on the services of England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney for the rest of the season.
Despite playing against 10 men for over 70 minutes the Addicks only really threatened in the final 10 minutes of the game, and have won just once in 13 matches to slip to seven points above the relegation zone.
Derby could give a debut to Rooney in Thursday’s home game against strugglers Barnsley, while Charlton visit play-off hopefuls Swansea on the same night.